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Written by Specialists and Authorities in the 

Several Departments of the Hide 

and Skin Industry 

Chicago, U. S. A. 





Copyright, 1912, by 


Chicago, 111. 




This volume is issued in response to a demand for 
information in respect to hides and skins. Articles bear- 
ing on this subject appear from time to time in the 
trade press, but, as far as our observations go, there 
is no bound compilation of data on this important 
department of the leather industry. It has often been 
said that the literature of tanning is not extensive. 
If this be so, it may be declared that there is a very 
decided necessity for a book dealing with hides and 
skins in their raw state. 

In this volume it is aimed to deal with the raw 
material of tanning from the animal's back to the 
tannery door. Thus it will be seen that we end our 
discussions where the tanning books begin them. It 
would seem that the manufacture of leather is of suffi- 
cient importance to justify the publication of many 
works on hides and skins alone. This volume may be 
considered a pioneer in that it breaks practically new 
ground. There are no books extant from which we 
could gather information supplementing them with 
matter of our own, as is usually the procedure in com- 
piling a new work on a well-worn subject. 

It is not possible that any one man could have 
written all the matter herein contained. The sub- 
ject is so complex and covers such a wide range that 
many authorities were of necessity called upon to 
write chapters concerning the branches upon which 
they are specially well informed. With the exception 


of three articles read before the American Leather 
Chemists' Association, all the chapters are original and 
are here printed for the first time. Contrary to the 
course sometimes pursued, the matter in this volume 
is not a collection of reprints from trade journals. 

This book deals with a business subject, and no at- 
tempt has been made to assume a lofty or scientific 
tone. For the most part, the articles and chapters are 
written by plain, practical men, who, while making 
no pretensions to literary style, are experts in their 
several departments. 

It is generally understood that the world's supply 
of hides is not keeping pace with the requirements of 
the leather manufacturers. The United States always 
has been a large importer of hides and skins, because 
of the inadequacy of the domestic supply. In recent 
years the scarcity of raw material for tanning has 
become more acute. It was this condition which com- 
pelled Congress to repeal the duty on hides in the 
revenue law of 1909. Although enjoying equality of 
opportunity with other manufacturing nations in re- 
spect of hides, the tanners of the United States are 
becoming more and more dependent upon foreign 
sources of supply. Many tanners who formerly used 
hides of domestic origin exclusively, now are com- 
pelled to import a large proportion of the raw ma- 
terial they consume. In view of this condition, it 
was thought that some information in book form 
about foreign hides would be welcomed by the trade. 

The take-off, curing and handling of packer hides are 
very thoroughly gone into. Packer hides, as sold by 
the great beef firms of Chicago, are universally con- 
sidered to be the best in pattern and condition. They 


bring at least two cents a pound more than hides 
taken from the same grades of cattle by local butchers 
and farmers. It is therefore of the highest impor- 
tance that all slaughterers of cattle should obtain all 
available information which will enable them to im- 
prove the quality and value of their hides. 

This work is primarily a text-book, and would not 
be complete did it not give many points that are 
everyday knowledge to the experienced handler of 
hides. Because of the thorough manner in which the 
subjects are treated, the volume will be valuable 
alike to well-versed men and the younger generation 
who must ultimately take their places. 




The Basic Condition — Preservative Processes — Distinc- 
tion of Hide Fibre — Structure of the Hide — Fibre and 
Gelatin — Decomposition of Hide Fibre — Methods of 
Curing — Imperfect Drying — Temperature in Drying — 
Salting Hides — Salt Stains — Dry Salting — Glauber Salts 
— Disinfection of Hides — Effect of Tanning Upon Fibre 
— Vegetable Tannins I 

Packer Hides. 

Introductory — The Slaughtering Process — The Kosher 
Process — Skinning the Head — Perfectly Flayed Hides 
— Government Inspection — The Coolers — Oleo Oil 
and Oleo Stearine — Inedible Fats — Selecting, Grading 
and Salting the Hides — Animal Heat in the Hides — 
Building the Hide Packs — Proper Method of Salting — 
Temperature of the Hide Cellars — Cattle Switches — 
Taking Up the Hides — Taking Out Hides — Rolling 
Hides — Tying Hides — Hide Rope — Marking Hides — 
Horn and Wire Scratches — Manured Hides and Tare 
— Grubbing Hides — Pates and Shanks — Packer Hide 
Selections — Spready Native Steers — Texas Hides — Butt 
Branded Steers — Colorado Steers — Branded Cows — Na- 
tive Cows — Native Bulls — Branded Bulls 1 1 

Country Hides. 

Introductory — Country Hide Selections — Heavy Cows — 
Buff Hides — Extreme Light Hides — Kipskins — Over- 
weight Kipskins — Calfskins — Domestic Calfskins — 
Slunk Skins — Country Bull Hides — Bulls Under Sixty 
Pounds — Glue Hides — Horsehides — Hogskins — Sheep 
Pelts— Dry Hides 41 

General Information — Packer Hides. 

Outside Hide Deliveries — Hide Market Barometers — Na- 
tive and Branded Seasons — Summer Hides — Average 
Shrinkage — Cash and Credit — Carlots and Less Than 
Carlots — History of Hide Tariffs 50 


General Information — Country Hides. 

General Market Information — Reporting the Markets — 
Buying Hides Flat — Bundle Condition — Influence of 
of the Seasons Upon Packer and Country Hides — 
Country Selections and Deliveries — Southern Hides 
and Cattle Ticks 55 

General Information — Packer and Country Hides. 

Grubbing Dates on Hides — Price Reductions on Kosher 
Hides — Measurements of Spready Hides — Hide Selec- 
tions for Various Leathers — Rules on Tare — Grubs in 
Hides — Small Country Packer Hides — Suggested Re- 
forms in the Hide Trade — Arbitrary Grubbing Dates 
— The Brokerage System — Packer Hide Cellar Test — 
Building Shingled Packs — Frozen Hides — Horsehides 
— Pulling and Pickling Sheepskins — Black Hides 61 

Anthrax With Special Reference to Suppression. 

Nature and History of the Disease — Persistency of In- 
fection — Danger in Tannery Effluent — Forms of the 
Disease — The Anthrax Bacillus — Methods of Combat- 
ing Infectious Diseases — Anthrax and Texas Fever — 
Vaccination as a Preventive — Pasteur's Experiments — 
Immunization — Anthrax in the Mississippi Delta — Suc- 
cessful Tests — Other Preventive Measures 75 

Disinfection of Hides. 

Government Disinfection Law — Methods of Disinfection 
— Anthrax — Disinfection of Fleshings, Hide Cuttings, 
Parings or Glue Stock — Disinfection of Hides — Disin- 
fection of Glue Stock 03 

Progress and Prospects of Tick Eradication. 

District Afflicted — Beginning of Tick Eradication — Some 
Obstacles to Progress — Tickicides — Prospects for the 
Future * 100 

Directions for Constructing a Vat and Dipping Cattle to 

Destroy Ticks. 

Arsenical Dips — Preparation and Use of Arsenical Dips 
— Diluting the Solution — Stock Solution — Precautions 
on the Use of Arsenic — Method of Dipping — Speci- 
fications for the Construction of a Concrete Cattle Dip- 
ping Vat — Excavation — Forms — Concrete — Water- 
proofing — Exit Incline — Slide — Dripping Pen — Chute — 
Bill of Materials — Lumber for Dripping Pen — Hard- 
ware and Iron Work — Concrete for Vat — Dripping 
Pen and Chute 107 




Early Legislation — The King James Act — Penalty for 
Bad Flaying — The Collection, Distribution and Sale of 
Hides — Modern Methods of Buying — The Market 
System — Hide Market or Auction Methods — Inspec- 
tion and Weighing — Improvements Through Organ- 
ization — Further Reforms Projected — Anglo-American 
Hides — Varieties of Cattle and Hides — Foreign Trade 
in British Hides — Imports of Hides — Hides Tanned 
in England — Disposal of Sheepskins — Inspection Com- 
mittees — Horsehides and Calfskins 122 


Introductory — Marketing Hides in France — Paris Auc- 
tions — Sales to America — Notes on German Hide Cure 
— Thuringen Rules for Takeoff — Italian Hides and 
Their Treatment — Causes of Salt Stains — Salt Dena- 
turing — Belgian Hides and Skins 137 


Frigorifico Hides — Salting, Disinfection and Trim — 
Saladero Hides — Prices and Sales Methods — Dry Hides 
— Damage by Ticks — How Hide Trades Are Financed. 149 


General Information — Slaughtering — Methods of Drying 
Hides — Classification — Wet Salted Hides — Goatskins — 
Deer, Hog and Slunk Skins — General Absence of Cattle 
Disease 155 


Australia as a Hide Producing Country — Abattoir Hides 
— Dairy Hides — Farmer Hides — Australian Sheep 159 


General Good Qualities — Green and Dry Skins and 
Weights — How Shipped — Vealskins 162 


Rapid Increase in Trade — Points of Origin — Methods of 
Takeoff — United States Tanners Largest Users — Uses 
These Skins Are Put To — Principal Export Cities.... 164 



Yearly Output — All Flint Dried — How Cured — The Se- 
lections — General Takeoff Poor — Nijni Sales — Sold on 
Letters of Credit — Russia Colt Skins — Principal Pro- 
ducing Section — Average Kill — Selections — Horse 
Fronts 166 


Their Importance as a Raw Material — The Goat a Meat 
Animal — Sources of Goatskin Supply — Methods of Col- 
lecting and Preserving — Methods of Curing — Collect- 
ing the Skins — Trade Affected by Seasons — Long and 
Short Hair — Age of the Skins — Use of Naphthaline — 
Arsenicated Skins — Goatskins of the World 169 

European Countries. 

Spain — Germany — Italy — Austria-Hungary and the 
Balkan Countries — Bulgarian, Macedonian, Monte- 
negro, Thessalian and Ordinary Greek Skins — Bul- 
garian, Roumanian and Adrianople Skins 176 

Asia Minor. 

Turkey — Russia — Petropawl Goat — Turkestan Goat — 
Bokhara Goat 181 

North Africa. 

Algeria — Tunis — Tripoli — Morocco — Mogadure — 
Egypt and the Soudan 183 

South Africa. 

Capetown Skins — Algoabay Skins — Kaffir Skins 186 

Northeast Africa and Arabia. 

Gizan and Jaddah — Abyssinia — Massowah — Somaliland — 
Mogdishur — Mombassa — Zanzibar 187 


Patnas — Pokahs — Dinajpores and Daccas — Kushtias and 
Daissees — Oudhs and Agras — Punjab — Southern India. 192 

China and Java. 

Tientsin — Hankow — Honan — Shanghai — River Goat — 
Javas 196 

South America and Mexico. 
Argentine — Brazil — Mexican Skins 200 





Value of Statistics— Less Demand for Beef— Revolution 
in Cattle Trade— Increase of Dairy Cattle— Cattle Sup- 
ply of the World— Expansion of Foreign Trade—In- 
creased Domestic Consumption of Leather— Goatskins. 202 





Introductory— Need of a Representative Sample— Differ- 
ence in Fibre— Difficulty in Obtaining Proper Samples 
—Results of Analysis 2I0 


Dry Hides— Salted Hides— Anglo-American Hides- 
Domestic Hides— Packer Hides— Selections of Packer 
Hides— Grubbinc Dates— Tare— Tare Before Weighing 
—Country Hides— Percentage of Leather From Differ- 
ent Hides — Discussion on Salt Stains 216 


Trade Terms With Their Definitions Alphabetically Ar- 
ranged 2 3° 




It is a basic condition upon which the production of 
leather depends that the original fibre of the hide or skin 
remains intact, and indeed the whole art of tanning is 
directed towards the preservation of the fibre, so that a 
state in which the fibres retain their original pliability and 
tensile strength is common to the raw hide as well 
as the leather. It was well understood by old-time tan- 
ners that the processes involved in transforming hides into 
leather did not tend towards an improvement in the de- 
sirable characteristics of the former, but the tendency 
to rapid decay made it absolutely necessary that some 
process which preserves the fibre be employed in order 
that the hide could be made serviceable for the varied 
uses to which it is put. 

Preservative Processes. 

These preservative processes, which are now called 
tannages, were originally very crude, but the number of 
such processes in use today is almost innumerable, and 
their action on raw fibre so varied and complex that 
science, which has done so much to indicate the way. 
has hardly kept pace with practice. Although tanning 
can be properly described as a preservative process on 
hide fibre, it is not proof against the influences which 
bring about the disintegration and decay of the fibres. 
1 raw fibre decays very quickly by putrefaction, due to 
bacteriological action, which liquefies it: the tanned fibre 
undergoes a process of disintegration which, however, 
may occupy many years to bring about. 

Although the tanning processes cause a disturbance 

in the original fibre formation, it is very desirable that 


this formation should be interfered with as little as pos- 
sible, but the exigencies of modern demands in the case 
of heavy leathers bring about a distention of the fibres 
to almost their fullest extent in order that the interfibre 
spaces can be filled with a heavier material than nature 
has provided. 

Distinction of Hide Fibre. 

Hide fibre is distinct in every characteristic from 
all other organic fibres produced by natural growth, such 
as cotton, wool, wood, etc. The cell walls of vegetables 
do not contain nitrogen, whereas all the cell walls of hide 
fibre do, and on scientific grounds there appears to be 
little possibility of producing a fibrous substitute for 
leather, which is made by a preservative process from 
hides and skins. It is true that all organic fibres are cellu- 
lar, but the hide fibre has a certain elasticity peculiar to 
itself, which gives it greater tensile strength than other 
fibres, but it is in the wonderful interweaving of those 
fibres together in the corium, or true skin, that nature 
far excels the cunning of human handicraft, and its suc- 
cessful imitation makes the production of leather from 
other than hide fibres a very remote possibility. 

Structure of the Hide. 

The hide or skin, when performing the functions for 
which it was originally designed, is not only a covering 
for the animal, but is an essential part of that complex 
system upon which life depends and is an organ of 
secretion and provides a channel for the elimination of 
many organic impurities and also possesses the sense of 
touch. In general principle the skins of all mammalia are 
the same. The skin consists of two parts, the outer, called 
the epidermis, and the inner, or true skin, is called the 
corium, and it is with the latter that the art of leather 
manufacture has to deal, because the epidermis is not 
strictly a fibrous structure and, in fact, is entirely different 
and owes its origin to a different layer in the germinal cell. 
The epidermis forms a separate but very thin skin, and it 


is untannablc and to a certain extent waterproof, so that 
in the preservation of the complete hide structure the pene- 
tration of the tanning agent takes place from the corium. 
The epidermis is commonly spoken of as having two lay- 
ers, the heavy layer and the mucous layer. This is due 
to the fact that in the growing of the epidermis the cells 
based on the true skin grow outward, which, as they are 
pushed by growing cells further from their source of 
nourishment, become dead and flat, similar to scales. The 
epidermis layer produces the hair and hair sheaths, the 
sebaceous, or flat glands, the sudoriferous, or sweat 
glands, and other structures of a horny character, such as 
horns, hoofs, claws and finger nails, which are anal- 
ogous to exaggerated hairs, such as are seen in the 
quills of a porcupine. 

Although the various structures which have been named 
as arising from the epidermis are very different in their 
outward appearance, they are all constituted of simple 
animal cells, differing only in size and shape and secret- 
ing cell walls of keratin or horny matter, a substance 
which is nearly allied chemically to coagulated albumen. 

The epidermis layer is entirely dependent for its 
growth upon the nourishment which it derives from the 
lymph of the true skin. The chemical behavior of the 
epidcrmical structures is very different to that of the 
true skin. On boiling in water the latter forms gelatin, 
whereas the former arc not at all easily soluble in water, 
even under pressure. The alkaline sulphides render the 
keratins very soluble, but do not readily attack the 
corium, or true skin, and this fact is made use 'if in 
practice for removing the hair preparatory to tanning. 

Fibre and Gelatin. 

As far as it has been determined there is apparently no 
chemical difference between the hide fibre and gelatin, 
with the exception of an unknown quantity of water, but 
there is a very pronounced physical difference. The fibre 
"I the hide or skin is completely dissolved on boiling in 
water and is entirely lost and cannot be reformed by any 


subsequent process. This is caused by a total destruction of 
the cell walls of the fibre, which, being of the same com- 
position as the gelatinous liquid contained within the cell, 
takes up an equal quantity of water and forms a homo- 
geneous mass on cooling. All organic cellular fibres do 
not act in this way; for instance, cotton fibre, when in a 
solution of amyl acetate, can be precipitated in a fibrous 
state by the addition of gasoline. The chemical reactions 
of gelatin are practically identical with those of hide 
fibre, and a close study of the behavior of the former is 
invaluable towards aiding a scientific manipulation of the 

Decomposition of Hide Fibre. 

But it is not the present purpose to discuss the prop- 
erties and behavior of gelatin, because little, if anything, 
can be added to the work which Procter has already pub- 
lished on the subject. Let us rather return to the con- 
sideration of hide fibre in its original state and endeavor 
to emphasize the results of simple observation in an ef- 
fort to eliminate a common tendency on the part of 
chemists in making laboratory deductions to attribute ef- 
fect to other causes than the condition of the fibre. Now, 
having regard to the susceptibility of the fibre in the 
fresh hide to rapid putrefaction, it is evident that it is 
necessary to arrest this as quickly as possible in view of 
the fact that the process of decay sets in immediately 
that the flaying of the hide is completed, and in order that 
a hide may become a marketable commodity it undergoes 
a treatment, which is a method for its temporary preser- 
vation. Such treatment is not at all in the nature of a 
tannage and is generally referred to as a "cure." 

Methods of Curing. 

There are a variety of methods for curing hides 
peculiar to the locality from which the hides emanate, 
and it is in one of these conditions that hides are re- 
ceived by the tanner. It is apparent that the nature of 
the "cure" must have some influence upon the hide 


fibre and to some extent influence the character of the 
leather, irrespective of the tannage employed. 

The simplest form of cure consists in the process of 
drying the hide by exposure to the sun and air, which 
is the method commonly adopted in most tropical coun- 
tries. The success of this method depends upon the evap- 
oration of the moisture held within the fihres slowly and 
evenly, yet completely, and as all putrefaction requires 
moisture, it follows that the elements of decay are sus- 
pended temporarily. A hide thus treated is known as a 
flint dry hide. Although this form of cure has the ad- 
vantage of simplicity, its effect upon the fibre is sometiiiK s 
very complicated, and unless carried out with some de- 
gree of care it becomes the foundation of considerable 
trouble in the subsequent tannery processes. With the 
evaporation of the moisture from the hide fibre consider- 
able shrinkage takes place, by which the fibres are drawn 
tightly together, and as the hides are dried without pre- 
viously washing, all the albuminous matter and free gel- 
atin surrounding the fibres are dried with them and form 
a hard, solid mass resembling glue. 

Imperfect Drying, 

1 f the hide dries too quickly the result is that both 
surfaces of the hide harden with the contraction of the 
fibres before the moisture in the middle of the fibre has 
been evaporated, so that this moisture is imprisoned, as 
it were, and provides a medium by which bacteria can be 
nourished at the expense of the fibre, with the result 
that it is completely destroyed where this action has taken 
place. One of the greal difficulties attending damage 
of this kind is that it is impossible to detect it in the 
hide until the hide ha- reached the tanner and has gone 
through the beamhouse processes, and very frequently it is 
ii"t observed until the leather made from such damaged 
hides is cut, when it will be seen that the leather splits 
into two pieces withoul difficulty. An examination of 
leather <■> damaged under an ordinary magnifying gla<- 
shows the broken fibre a- if tin- ends had been fused. 


It frequently occurs in damage of this nature that it 
extends to almost the length of the fibre, leaving the sur- 
face of the grain and flesh intact, but before the beam- 
house processes are completed these give way and a 
hole is made in the hide. 

Temperature in Drying. 

The temperature at which hides are dried is of con- 
siderable importance to their subsequent manipulation in 
the tannery. Eitner, who has experimented in this direc- 
tion, states that the ideal conditions for drying hides 
would be in a vacuum at a temperature of 15 degrees cen- 
tigrade. Hides dried at a temperature of 22 degrees cen- 
tigrade in the sun soak back in 48 hours. Dried at a 
temperature of 35 degrees centigrade, artificially, hides 
required five days to soften, in each case without mechan- 
ical aid. Hides dried at 60 degrees centigrade in an arti- 
ficial heat refused to wet back by any method sufficient 
for tanning purposes. 

The influence of temperature upon hide fibre is obvi- 
ously of great importance, and low-drying temperatures 
are the best suited. Albumen coagulates at a temperature 
of 60 degrees centigrade, so that such a temperature af- 
fects the albuminous matter in hides. Hide fibre in a 
moist condition, at a sustained temperature of 35 de- 
grees centigrade, rapidly deteriorates, chiefly from bac- 
terial activity. On account of the protection which the 
fibre of the true skin receives from the epidermis, hides 
do not appear to be much affected, so far as their struc- 
ture and tensile strength are concerned, after a quick 
immersion in water at a temperature of 50 degrees cen- 

Salting Hides. 

The other of the two most common methods em- 
ployed in curing hides is that of salting. This is car- 
ried out in two ways — first, that of spreading common 
salt on the flesh side of the fresh or green hide, and 
known as green salted hide, and the second is known as 


''dry salting ;" the hide after being salted in the fresh 
state is spread out and dried in the sun. 

Common salt is preservative in the sense that it 
possesses antiseptic properties, but is not a disinfectant. 
In a solution of water it has a solvent action upon hide 
fibre, but its action in "curing" or preserving hide fibre 
is due to the property which it possesses of taking up 
water, and this it takes out of the fibre, thus dehydrating 
it or, in other words, it acts as a drier on the fibre. The 
influence of salt upon the fibre from the tanners' point 
of view is decidedly beneficial. Its use upon the hide 
permits of a ready diffusion of water into the fibre in 
the process of soaking, and the hide is very readily 
softened without much mechanical aid. 

In soaking the hides preparatory to tanning a con- 
siderable part of the salt is removed from the hide, but 
its complete removal from the fibre is scarcely practical, 
even if it were desirable, which, however, is not the 
case. The influence of salt upon the fibre can be observed 
very strikingly in the case of a flint dry hide which has 
been given a brine bath as a second soaking in the process 
of softening. The result is a great improvement in the 
subsequent leather. It would be of considerable advan- 
tage, wherever practical, where dried hides are tanned, 
to salt them after properly soaking and allowing them 
to lie in a small pile for a few weeks, then washing and 
treating the hides as if they were regular green salted 

Salt Stains. 

One of the troubles arising from the use of common 
salt is what is known as salt stain. This is due to the 
presence of iron in the form of ferric chloride in the salt, 
but this only occurs generally in rock salt and can usually 
be avoided by employing salt of greater purity. Fre- 
quently stains occur en hides, (\uc to the use of stale salt ; 
that is, the salt which is shaken off the hides preparatory 
to their being folded for shipping. Tin's salt carries with 
it considerable blond and organic matter from the flesh 


of the hides and this, accumulating, is finally deposited 
on a hide, to the detriment of that particular hide. It 
is obvious that as the salt crystals become coated with 
albuminous matter they cannot be as efficient in their 
action as fresh salt, and the use of such salt is not advis- 

To further lessen the tendency to salt stains, hides 
should not be stored in a clamp atmosphere. There is no 
doubt but that it can be demonstrated that the use of 
clean recrystallized salt avoids so-called salt stains. 

Dry Salting. 

Dry salted hides are not salted in the initial stage of 
the curing process with the same care that a packer hide 
is given, and the material used for salting is more fre- 
quently a saline earth. The additional process of drying 
the hide safeguards it from any injury which the impuri- 
ties contained in the saline earth may be apt to cause. 
In India what are known as plaster cured hides are really 
dry salted, the natives employing a saline earth for that 
purpose. Procter carefully investigated the chemical con- 
stituents of this earth and found it to be composed prin- 
cipally of sodium sulphate (glauber salts) with only traces 
of common salt (sodium chloride) present. This sug- 
gests the experiment of substituting anhydrous glauber 
salts for common salt for curing fresh slaughtered hides 
and this can be very successfully done to some advantage 
because the resulting leather is "fuller." 

Glauber Salts. 

It is known that sodium chloride has a tendency to 
produce flatness in leather whereas sodium sulphate has 
not this characteristic, and although in tannery processes 
the salt employed in the cure of the hide is largely re- 
moved, traces of it exert some influence, not necessarily 
objectionable, upon the fibre, the effect of which may 
sometimes be found upon the resulting leather. Although 
the higher cost of anhydrous glauber salts, over crude 
common salt, may constitute an objection to its larger 


use as a substitute for the latter, there is no doubt but 
that in the manufacture of certain kinds of leather like 
chrome tanned upper leather, the result obtained by the 
use of glauber salts fully compensates for the slight in- 
crease in cost. 

The influence of the method of curing the hide is very 
important upon the leather made from such a hide and a 
study of the effect of the "cure" upon the fibre is of con- 
siderable value. 

Disinfection of Hides. 

The influence of disinfectants which are frequently em- 
ployed upon hides must not be overlooked because of 
their possible effect upon the fibre, depending, of course, 
upon the nature of the materials employed for disinfect- 
ing. The mercuric salts, for example, form insoluble com- 
pounds with albumen, and formaldehyde has considerable 
influence upon the fibre, entering as it does into intimate 
combination with it and producing a "tanning" effect. 

Effect of Tanning Upon Fibre. 

Dealing with so delicate an organic structure as hide 
fibre, it is frequently impossible to determine with any 
great certainty the exact causes which produce certain 
defects, but with the introduction of systemized tannery 
methods, the element of chance is being rapidly elimi- 
nated. The fact should never be lost sight of that the 
hide fibre is the first and last consideration and that the 
value of all processes depends upon their effect upon the 
fibre. The action of depilitants and of beamhouses proc- 
esses in general is pretty well known, if but imperfectly 
understood. Apart from the chemical action of the ma- 
terials employed in the beamhouse the influence of time 
and temperature upon the hide in the "white" or pelt 
condition cannot he n*' 1 carefully controlled. 

The action of tanning materials, both mineral and vege- 
table, upon hide fibre, is varied, ami apart from the 
characteristics of each material, uniformity of effect de- 
pends upon the exercise of great care and control of the 


material or combination of materials employed. It is not 
within the scope of the present chapter to discuss in detail 
the different characteristics and properties of the various 
materials which are employed in the conversion of hides 
into leather, but having regard to the influence of the two 
great classes of materials, mineral and vegetable, upon 
the fibre, the popular idea that the chrome tannage pro- 
duces a tougher fibre than the vegetable tannages is not 
strictly true so far as the actual tannages are concerned. 
Great tensile strength in hide fibre depends upon the 
amount of moisture which the tanning material permits 
the fibre to retain, and although in the finished condition 
chrome tanned leather frequently proves to be the 
stronger, this is largely due to the water emulsions of oil 
which are used in the fat-liquoring process, applied to the 
fibre while still wet from the tan bath. Chrome tanned 
leather thoroughly dried direct from the tan bath has no 
remarkable tensile strength, but perhaps the most striking 
feature possessed by chrome tanned fibre is the property 
of being able to resist the action of boiling water. 

Despite the fact that the alum in alum tanned leather 
can be removed from the fibre by washing and conse- 
quently is not very intimately combined with the fibre, 
in combination with common salt, which is hygroscopic 
and retains moisture tenaciously, such leather i's often of 
extreme toughness. 

Vegetable Tannins. 

Each of the vegetable tannins possesses characteristics 
peculiar to itself in its effect upon hide fibre, and in prac- 
tice it is of course customary to employ combinations of 
materials according to the results desired. In some ex- 
periments made with leather tanned throughout with 
single materials the greatest tensile strength was found 
to be in a chestnut tannage, followed closely in this re- 
sped by a straight quebracho tannage. Oakwood and 
hemlock were about equal and strangely enough oak bark 
gave very poor results in tensile strength of fibre but in 


this respect a straight myrobolan tannage gave the weak- 
est fibre of all the materials tested. 

Vegetable tanned hide fibre does not offer much resist- 
ance to high temperatures in water, but is not much 
affected if not exposed too long to its influence, but a 
low temperature in water if sustained for several hours 
has a pronounced detrimental effect. 


The slaughtering of cattle on an immense scale by 
the great dressed meat and provision firms of the 
United States resulted in the systematization of the 
industry and the output of hides as nearly perfect 
as is possible in a natural product. Hides and skins 
are made by nature on the backs of animals, and of 
necessity differ in size, weight, substance and qual- 
ity. They are subject to injury from horn and wire 
scratches, the attacks of insects and branding and in 
transit from the ranges or feed lots to the stockyards 
may be damaged by drovers' prods or concussion with 
each other and the sides of the cars. Many of these 
contingencies are unavoidable, but it has been found 
practicable because of operation upon a large scale 
greatly to reduce the damages incurred through un- 
skilful or careless flaying. The packers have, as 
nearly as possible, reduced to a science the prepara- 
tion of green salted hides for the market and hence 
every detail of their operations should be considered. 

Much remains to be done, however, in the Southern 
States. American steers have increased $7 per cent in 
value since the beginning of a tick eradication cam- 
paign by the Department of Agriculture, in co-opera- 
tion with the several states. The annual loss in each 
county ranged from $150 to $50,000 before the cam- 
paign began, but now are "practically none" or "very 


small." The average number of cattle lost yearly in 
each county has dropped from 895 to 20, or 15.3 to 1.3 
in percentage. It is unfortunate that little or nothing 
has been done or even is projected towards the miti- 
gation of the damage done to hides by grubs. In sev- 
eral European countries vigorous action has been 
taken by organizations of tanners looking towards the 
prevention of the cattle grub or warble. The percent- 
age of grubby hides in the United States seems to be 
larger each year and the evil here is more acute than in 
countries where remedial measures are enforced. 

The beef animal after passing through the usual 
routine of raising and fattening for market is shipped 
to the stock yards and sold to a buyer for some killing 
establishment. All purchases of a given grade of cat- 
tle at simlar prices are placed in one drove and receive 
a lot number, which figure is used in designatng the 
various by-products through their course of manufac- 
ture. In addition to this lot number, each bullock is 
numbered consecutively from one up, as killed. These 
figures are used whenever possible on the various by- 
products, such as cuts of beef, etc. The system is 
costly, but beneficial in that errors are avoided and 
easily traced when made. 

The Slaughtering Process. 

After the bullock is the property of the killer, it is 
placed in its respective lot and sent to the slaughter 
house. ^ Cattle are driven slowly and allowed suffi- 
cient time to cool off. If hurried and not permitted to 
cool, the beef shows bloodshot after being chilled. It 
is the usual custom to install the killing department 
on the upper floors of the building, as the cattle can 
walk up runways and the beef and by-products be sent 
to the loading platforms by gravity, thus saving con- 
siderable expense over the old way of killing on the 
■■wer floors and hoisting the beef to coolers above, 
iiach lot is driven to the killing floor in its turn 

1 wo animals go into each knocking pen, there being 
usually half as many pens as there are beds for skin- 


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ning. An electrc prod is used occasionally to hasten 
beasts which are slow or timid about entering the 
knocking pens. The "knocker" uses a light sledge 
fitted with a ilexible hickory handle, and strikes each 
animal a blow on the forehead between the eyes, or 
more than one blow if the creature does not drop im- 
mediately. In most cases the skull is broken by the 
first blow and the animal loses consciousness and is 
thereafter dead as far as physical pain is concerned. 

When the gate of the movable pen is lifted by 
mechanical means, the floor also is raised to a sharp 
angle and the senseless bullock slides to the sticking 
bed. Sometimes it happens that the bullock is only 
dazed and recovers its senses enough to regain its feet. 
Maddened by pain and practically sightless, it rushes 
around, goring hanging cattle and causing a great deal 
of excitement. The best way to capture and subdue 
such an animal is to hamstring it by the aid of a knife 
fastened on the end of a long pole. 

The dead animal is shackled by passing a chain 
around both the hind legs, although one leg is suffi- 
cient. Some packers prefer the latter method, as it 
allows one free leg, which, by its incessant kicking, 
helps drain all blood out of the animal. The chain is 
attached to a hoist and the animal is raised and hung 
off on a wheeled hook, called a truck, suspended from 
a rail. The sticker inserts his knife up through the 
sticking piece in the neck and severs the jugular vein. 
The cut is made vertically, so as not to mar the pattern 
of the hide. After the knife is up far enough, it \? 
turned crossways and the vein cut. 

The Kosher Process. 

When killing cattle for Kosher purposes, according 
to the rabbinical law, the bullock is nol knocked sense- 
less, bu1 simply shackled and the hindquarters raised 
sufficiently SO that just the neck and head are resting 
on the floor. Then the Rabbi blesses the animal and 
makes one downward slicing cut with his long knw< 


back of the jaw, almost severing the head from the 
spinal column. The "header" then removes the head, 
continuing the regular method of killing. 

Skinning the Head. . 

The header sticks his knife in at the top of the 
head and the cut is made across to the left side of the 
animal's face. The cut is then continued downward 
along the left side through the nostril and the hide 
raised off the face. The cheeks are skinned out and 
the under side opened from the sticking cut through 
the center of the lower lip. This leaves the face, or 
pate, of the animal on the right side of the hide and 
allows it to lie flat in the packs. The head is then 
severed from the neck at the top column joint. The 
horns, if any, are sawed off of the head, which is then 
taken away to be trimmed. When the header finishes 
his operation, the animal is still allowed to hang and 
drain of all blood; usually two or three animals are 
hanging thus, head downward. Each in turn is low- 
ered to the floor, laid on its back and held in this posi- 
tion by a pritch pole, placed just behind the brisket 
and foreleg, on either side. The front and hind leg- 
gers then take the animal and remove the duclaws and 
feet, at the same time taking out the sweetbread. The 
windpipe and weasand are also taken out. 

In removing the front feet, cut the cord, which con- 
tracts the hoof to an unnatural position, and then 
make the cut upward on the right side, leaving both 
duclaw holes on the left side, gradually cutting in to- 
ward the center at the knee. Remove the foot at the 
joint. In the hind legs the same operation is per- 
formed, except that the cut from the duclaws to the 
knee is made in the center, the opening being made 
with the point of the knife, blade upward. The open- 
ing cut. however, is made as in the foreleg and started 
upward on the right side. The "ripper-open" next 
follows, opening the bullock from the sticking cut to 
the tail. The next man to work on the animaf has the 
most important task to perform, as any error or acci- 


dent mars the hide or spoils the appearance of the beef 
by little cuts made with the point of the knife, and 
termed "black-eyes." 

Perfectly Flayed Sides. 

The "Moorsman," or sider, as he sometimes is called, 
places his knife under the hide about the middle of the 
belly, on the side opposite from the pritch pole, and 
cuts along to the brisket and back to the inside of the 
hind leg close to the tail, lifting the hide away from 
the beef. He then makes, failing if inexperienced, a 
hide of perfect pattern. After cutting down the side 
of the animal, he makes the cut at the brisket and 
foreleg, a most important one, as if inperfectly done, 
too much of the hide is left on the neck, whereas, the 
most valuable portions are the sides and back. Make 
the downward cut from the opening in the center of 
the bullock, far forward, a trifle in advance of the front 
of the foreleg, lifting the hide and skinning slantingly 
backwards to the knuckle joint at the rear of the fore- 
leg. On the hind leg the cut is made about three or 
four inches from the tail, cut being made upward to 
the back of the hind leg at the knee joint, there con- 
necting with the hind legger's cut. 

After completing this side of the bullock, the floor- 
man tips the bullock sufficiently to remove the pritch 
pole and place it on the other side, so that he can skin 
oul that side of the bullock. The "caul puller" next 
removes the caul fat and the breast sawyer opens the 
breast bone. Spreaders are then placed in the gams of 
the hind legs and the animal is hoisted until only the 
fnrequarters rest on the floor. While in this position 
the "tail puller" pulls the hide off the tail, taking the 
entire tail bone out. The "rumpcr" follows the tail 
puller and cuts the hide away from the base "I the tail 
and the rump. 

The bullock is then hoisted 1" the half hoisi where 
the fell cutters remove the hide from the hind legs, 
around the "round." Then the fell pullers take the 


hind shanks of the hide and pull while the fell beaters 
pound the hide with the back edge of cleavers. The 
skin of the animal is very tight in this quarter and the 
hide has to be pulled off, as knife work should result 
in a great many damaging cuts and scores. The "gut- 
ters" remove the entrails while the bullock is on the 
half hoist, allowing the government inspectors to ex- 
amine them for diseases. 

Government Inspection 

Should the bullock be infected with a disease detri- 
mental to the public health, the entire carcass, or in- 
fected quarter, if the disease be local, is sent to the 
tank to be rendered into inedible tallow. The gov- 
ernment's inspectors are all graduate veternary sur- 
geons and thoroughly capable in this line of work. The 
"backers" continue the process of skinning by drop- 
ping the hide to the shoulders of the carcass. The 
tail sawyers then insert ring spreaders in the back of 
the carcass about eight inches from the tail and saw 
down to this point. The spreaders make this sawing 
easier than if they were not placed there, something 
on the order of a wedge inserted in a board by a car- 
penter when ripping. The splitters sever the carcass 
into two portions down to the shoulders. This is im- 
portant work, as improper splitting hurts the sale of 
the beef. The carcass is then hoisted and hung off 
"ii wheeled trucks, so that the forequarters can be 
worked upon. The hide droppers skin out the neck 
and forelegs, which thus takes the hide off the carcass. 
The chuck splitter then severs the carcass into two 
halves and the scribe sawyer breaks the spinal col- 
umns. He uses an arc-shaped saw, set in a heavy block 
of wood, with a handle on it. His work consists of 
marking the blade bones and breaking them with a 
blow from the side of the block of wood in which his 
saw is set. The breaking of the bones in this, manner 
makes the ribs and chucks look better, as if the beef 
v. as of very good thickness with plenty of fat in it. 


The Coolers. 

The carcass after being washed with warm water 
is weighed, tagged with the lot and bed number and 
placed in the coolers to chill. The coolers are raised 
to a temperature of about fifty degrees and are grad- 
ually worked down to about thirty-six degrees in forty 
to forty-eight hours after filling with beef. If the beef 
is chilled too fast the animal heat has not time enough 
to escape. After being properly chilled the beef is 
then loaded in cars and distributed to the wholesale 
and retail markets of the country. The cattle heads 
after being dropped on the killing floor are trimmed of 
meat, lower jaw taken off and brains removed. The 
feet are cooked to soften the hoofs, which are removed 
and dried. The shins are sawed at both ends, so as 
to allow the marrow to cook out. Skulls, jaws, knuck- 
les and shins are placed in vats and cooked to remove 
the tallow. The entrails are stripped of fat and refuse, 
turned, washed and salted in respective grades and 

Oleo Oil and Oleo Stearine. 

The edible fats from the entrails and casings along 
with the caul fats are chilled in water to remove ani- 
mal heat and then converted into oleo stock. The 
edible fats after chilling are hashed and melted. The 
settlings are drawn off and the remainder in the ket- 
tles drawn into trucks and allowed to cool. When 
ready, the contents of these coolers are placed in 
cloths, piled in a hydraulic press and put under enor- 
mous pressure to remove the oil, termed oleo oil, the 
product remaining in the cloths being oleo stearine. 
The stearine is shaken from the cloths, packed in bar- 
rels and shipped to soapmakers, compounders and tan- 

Inedible Fats. 

The inedible fats from the killing and working 
floors are sent to the tank house, where they are placed 
in large tanks and cooked under pressure. The set- 


tlings from these tanks are pressed and dried and the 
tallow put in tank cars or tierces. The blood from the 
cattle is pumped into large tanks and cooked. Then it 
is placed in press cloths and put under pressure to 
remove the tank water. The cooked blood is put 
through steam dryers to remove the remaining mois- 
ture, when it is then fit for commercial purposes. 

Selecting, Grading and Salting the Hides. 

After the hide is dropped from the carcass, it is 
spread out on the floor and inspected for cuts and 
scores. When imperfections are found they are called 
to the attention of the workman making them. The 
hides are then thrown into a chute leading to the hide 
cellar, where they are again inspected for cuts, scores 
and other imperfections and sorted into the different 
classes and weights. The ears are split by making 
one or two cuts through the cartilage. This is done 
so that they will lie flat in the packs. The different 
grades of each lot are weighed separately and records 
kept for shrinkage and stock purposes. The hides., 
after weighing, are taken to their respective packs ac- 
cording to grades. 

Animal Heat in the Hides. 

Workmen in the hide cellar are generally two hours 
behind the killing gang. This is for the purpose of 
allowing the animal heat to escape from the hides be- 
fore they are salted. Two hours is a sufficient length 
of time to effect this. Usually the following method 
is pursued : Enough hides are left over from the pre- 
ceding day's killing to keep the green hide gangs busy 
for two hours, at which time they can begin work upon 
the fresh stock. The hides left over night are spread 
out on the floor in front of their respective packs. If 
the weather or cellar is warm they are leached out 
with a little fine salt. During the summer months all 
hides, whether fresh or held over, are leached in this 
manner. It is good practice and undoubtedly saves a 



great many dollars above the expense of doing- this 

Building the Hide Packs. 

Number two rock salt is used in salting packer hides. 
The packs are built as flat and even as possible, so as 
to retain the brine. They are also made long and low 
to accomplish this purpose. This keeps the shrink- 
age down to a low point and maintains the hides in 
good merchantable condition. Short high packs show 

The accompanying cut shows the manner of making a corner 
on the pack with a butt of a hide. Ruled lines denote hair side of 

the greatest shrinkage. To build a regular pack begin 
an edge at the back of the section selected, folding the 
hides about a foot from the center, in a line with the 
outside edge of the neck. First throw some salt on 
the bare floor, so that the hair sides of the bottom 
hides will be protected with brine. In making the cor- 
ners, put in the edge or bark spread, leaving the butt 
of the hide hanging over the edge of the park. 

After salting the Forward portion and folding over, 
turn the butt up as for an edge. Spread out the short 


shank, in the corner, diagonally, cover with salt and 
fold over, being sure that there is plenty of salt in the 
pocket in the corner. This salt in the corner in addi- 
tion to curing the hide surface tends to build up the 
pack, keeping it uniform. The hides are folded over 
on the edges so that there will always be a sloping sur- 
face to keep the brine within the pack and not allow 
it to run off except by percolation. After the back 
edge and corners are put in, start at the rear of the 
pack and make a side edge on each side. When laying 
the hides down for the edges, put them on close to- 
gether so as to build up. Place the hides about two 
feet apart, leaving that much of the hide underneath 
showing. In addition to putting them close together it 
is well to allow the hide to sag a little when holding up 
the outside portion for filling with salt. This allows a 
lot of salt to fall in this lap, which can be retained 
there to help build up to outside edge. Fold the hide 
over, allowing this sag to remain there and then gently 
pull toward the center of the pack until it is just on 
the edge. Never try to pull the top flap back, unless 
the whole hide is pulled with it, and then there is 
danger of dragging salt off the hide underneath. 

After making the back and side edges, the spreads 
can be put in. In making the spreads the heads of 
the hides are always placed in the center of the pack. 
On the side edges the heads are to the front, and in 
the back and front edges to the center. Corners can 
be made with heads as well as butts of the hide, but 
the latter lie best in the pack and retain more pickle. 
Start the first spread about three feet inside the side 
edge, commencing at the back of the pack and spread 
thin for a low shrink and close together for a high 
one. As a rule the packers leave about two or two 
and a half feet of the hide underneath showing. When 
one side is spread, repeat on the other side of the 
The second spread is then ready to be put in. 
I lace the hides just the same as in the first spread, but 
put the butts of the hides on the side edges, with tails 

The manner of placing hides on the side edge Is accurately 
shown In this cut. One hide has been left out nt the buck dec "f 

the pack to show the butt of the bide used in making th rner. 

The bide lefl out should be placed the same ae the others on the 
side edge, bul ti the butl of the pack, After two Bide edges and the 
back edge of the pack have been built, the Brat Bjpread is ready 
to be put on. ns will be Bhown In th< • bo I cut. Hair side of the 
hides is shown by the ruled lines. 


and tag ends turned in and a small quantity of salt 
under them. When both sides are thus spread, put in 
the center and last spread of the fill. Heads can be 
placed either way to fill holes to bring the whole pack 
up level with the side edges. If there is a deep hole 
in some spot, throw the head, neck and one shank over 
into it, or for a small one lay a shank or one side of 
the head over. See that all ears are spread flat and 

All humps in the pack caused by badly split ears or 
edges and corners of the hide dragged over should be 
stepped on so that salt grains will adhere to these 
spots. Never drag hides over a pack, as the salt is 
carried off and hairslips result. It is best to have two 
men, one at the head and the other at the butt of the 
hide, to lift them over to the spot where they have to 
be laid. The man at the butt of the hide takes the 
tail in one hand and the shanks in the other, hair side 
out, while the other workman takes both sides of the 
head in one hand and the shanks in the other. When 
the hide is ready to be laid down, the men should drop 
the lower side of the hide and then turn the upper 
side over with one motion. The salt on the hides un- 
derneath will not be disturbed if hides are handled 
in this manner. The man on the butt of the hide has 
charge of building the pack properly. The man on 
the head of the hide follows his lead in every opera- 
tion. When the spreads are being put in, the front 
edge can be built up. Use the spread hides as the 
front is reached, lapping them over at the front 
to form the edge, and placing others in to build up 
even with the rest of the pack. Go through this same 
performance in subsequent edges and spreads until the 
pack is completed. 

Proper Method of Salting. 

For ordinary-sized green hides of about seventy 
to ninety pounds in weight use a number eight 
scoop shovel, which holds thirty-five to forty pounds 

iii the 
side nl" the 
bide had 1 
lap mi the 

lciinipanylntr <ut, the first 
pack, with Hi.- id.- i-il..-.- and 

ten left out al the back edK< 
first hide of the first Bpreaa 

pread Is shown on the left 
.liner hides showing. < >n<.- 
nf the pack to Bhow the 
The hide left out should 
be placed on top <>f the hair side of the lapped bide at the bad 
edge. The ruled 'In.-s denote the hair side Of the hides Hid. - 
are placed In ;i similar manner almiK the other side of the pack 
and second spread put on. 



of salt. The old rule of a pound of salt to a pound 
of hide is. a good one to follow. Salt is scattered from 
the shovel with a sweeping motion, letting the salt 
leave the shovel at the heel as much as possible. 
Every square inch of the hide should have a piece of 
salt on it. Salt throwers become very expert at this 
work, which is one of the primary reasons that hair- 
slipped hides are a rarity in packer stock. The longer 
the pack the less the shrinkage, as there are then a 
greater number of hides with no folds in them. Every 
fold is estimated to show a double shrinkage, com- 
pared with the same amount of surface unfolded. 
The hair side of every fold should have salt scattered 
on it to prevent sticking, heating and hair slips. 
Low-built packs show a less shrinkage than high ones, 
from three and a half to four feet is the average height 
of the packs built by the prominent killers. After the 
pack is completed put plenty of salt over the top, so 
that not a particle of the hides is showing. This is to 
make a brine to keep the top hides moist. The hides 
in the bottom of the pack are always in the best con- 

A pack that is built in two days will cure quicker 
and the hides will come up in better condition than 
one that requires fifteen or twenty days to make, for 
the reason that the fresh hides going on the pack for 
the lengthened time are making fresh brine, which 
goes through the pack and does not give the older 
hides a chance to get in condition. A pack that is 
built right and complete in two days will purge in five 
days and be ready to take up in two weeks, while a 
pack taking longer to build will not be in condition for 
delivery for thirty days after closing. 

Hides packed in the manner described can be kept 
without examination for a year or more. With any 
less salt on them the hides will have to be torn out 
sooner, as the salt loses its strength in that much less 
time. About forty per cent of the salt is lost in curing 
with new salt. Use new salt on hides to remain in 

The ser-ond spread is placed along the side edge as shown In 
the above diagram, both sides of the pack being built in this 
manner. The last spread la then put on, which completes the "fill," 
the hides being placed with heads one way "i another to tin holes. 
The diagonal lines in tin- above drawing represent the flesh Bldea 
cf the hides in the Brst apread underneath, while the straight lines 
denote the hair side. As in the cut showing the Brst spread, one 
hide has been left out at the back edge of the pack to Bhow the 
manner of folding the tlrst hide to help build up file back edge- 


pack for a long period, so as to avoid rust spots, 
which are caused by the salt giving out and the de- 
caying process setting in. This will not happen in 
packs which have plenty of salt to make brine. Old 
salt, or second salt, as it is generally called, can be 
used on hides which do not remain in pack for any 
great length of time. However, it is better to wash 
this salt thoroughly to get the dirt and small particles 
out of it. In salting green hides a gang consists of 
two spreaders, one salt thrower and a salt trucker. 
Forty hides an hour is the schedule for such a gang. 
A double gang requires two men throwing hides on 
the pack, two spreaders, two salt throwers and two 
salt truckers. These men put down eighty hides an 
hour. Hides are cured and ready for shipping in two 
to four weeks, but it is usually four to six weeks before 
tanners will take them out. 

Temperature of the Hide Cellars. 

To obtain the best results in curing hides, the cellars 
should be kept at an even temperature. Hide shrink- 
ages are lighter in cold cellars and heaviest in the 
warm ones. Expert hide receivers take the tempera- 
ture of the cellars into consideration when demanding 
their tare allowance. A cold, damp cellar is to the 
packer's advantage, while a warm one is distinctly in 
the hide buyer's favor. A happy medium in the matter 
of temperature is, therefore, to be desired. As a gen- 
eral rule, the prominent packers endeavor to keep their 
cellars at about fifty-five to seventy degrees, although 
sometimes outside cellars register as high as eighty. 
Brine pipes are usually run through the cellars to keep 
them cool and uniform the year round. Draughts 
should be avoided in hide cellars, as the circulating 
air has a tendency to increase the shrinkages. Some 
packers have their hides packed on two floors, one 
above the other, and the hides in the upper floor al- 
ways are the driest, which, of course, means a higher 
shrinkage. Hide cellars, as a rule, are on the lower 


floors, usually below the ground level, with coolers 
above, all of which aids in keeping- the hides moist and 
in good merchantable condition. 

Cattle Switches. 

The switches are cut off of the hides in the cellar 
at the chute where the hides are inspected by the cellar 
men. They are trimmed off about twelve to fourteen 
inches from the butt of the hide. It is not advisable 
to leave too much of the tail on the hide, as it makes 
but poor leather, and at the same time too much hide 
on the hair switch is useless, as it adds unnecessary 
weight if switches are shipped. Switches are salted 
with fine salt in one large pile. Put plenty of salt on 
them, working it into the hair as much as possible. 
To accomplish this purpose the switches may be wet 
lightly with a strong brine. Great care should be ex- 
ercised in salting the switches to prevent their heat- 
ing. The pile should be looked at frequently and at 
the first sign of heating should be torn apart and re- 
salted with new salt. When they are sold they gen- 
erally go at straight count with the stumps out. This 
is the usual method in the large packing plants. Some 
killers, however, sell their switches on a killing count, 
one switch for every bullock killed, when figuring for 
payment. This method does away with tedious count- 
ing. In the country hide market, where the average 
weight of hides is lighter, and the switches, therefore, 
much smaller, thev are sold at a fair count, several 
small switches being counted as one. 

Taking Up the Hides. 

Taking up hides requires seventeen men to make a 
full gang. Men who are proficient in this class of work 
can put up six hundred to a thousand hides, as to 
grades and selections, in a day. It takes two men pull- 
ing the pack, four shakers, two rolling hides, three 
tying and testing for weights, two to three sweeper-. 


three piling and one salt trucker. As the pack is built 
from the rear forward it is torn out from, front to the 
back. The two pack pullers should know how packs 
are built so that work will not be delayed. The loose 
salt is dragged to the front of the pack on the hides. 
The hides are shaken of all salt, the four shakers each 
taking a corner of the hide and shaking it twice on a 
frame, called a horse. This horse is a scantling net- 
work four by seven feet on legs two and a half feet 
high and is placed in front of the pack being taken up. 
The hides are then dragged over a beaver to re- 
move grains of salt which still adhere to the hide. 
The beaver is usually made of wood in a triangular 
shape, higher than it is wide at the base, or it can be 
made of a hide rolled up lengthwise, hair side out, with 
plenty of salt in it. The hides, after passing over the 
beaver, are then spread out on the floor, hair side up, 
and then turned flesh up and swept of every particle 
of salt adhering to them. They are also inspected for 
cuts, scores, hairslips, brands and cows and steers. 
After rolling up in the respective first and second 
selections they are tied and tested for weights, heavies, 
lights and extreme lights. 

Taking Out Hides. 

In taking out hides, the receiver watches to see 
that the proper classes and grades of hides are given, 
surplus salt swept off, number two hides properly 
marked, manures counted, heavy, light and extreme 
light hides kept separate and tare and percentage of 
grubs estimated. Number two hides are rolled up in 
an opposite manner from the first grade; for instance, 
the number one hides are rolled up hair out and the 
seconds flesh out. The reverse is usually the method 
of procedure, as there are more number one hides. 
These, when rolled up with the hair in. retain more 
moisture than if rolled up the other way. keeping the 
hides in good, workable condition until they reach the 
tanneries, where they are placed in packs or piled in 


bundles. The shrinkage in transit is also less and 
the grain of the hide is preserved better. 

Rolling Hides. 

The proper manner of rolling hides is as follows: 
Throw in the head and neck, even with the front legs, 
then fold over the belly of the hide on both sides. The 
fold is not a wide one, just enough to square up the 
hide nicely. The man at the butt then throws the 
hind shank lengthwise on this fold and the man at the 
head does the same with the front shank. Do not 
throw the shanks under the belly, but on top, as the 
former method is productive of hair slips, caused by 
heating, while in the latter procedure there is plenty 
of air circulating around all parts of the hide. The 
two men then take one outside edge and fold it in to 
the center of the back, repeating with the other edge, 
and then placing these two folds together in one. The 
butt is then thrown forward beyond the middle and 
the forward portion of the fold is placed on top of the 
part already folded, and then the butt is again folded 
over even with the break in the second lap, thus mak- 
ing a neat bundle which can be tied in a very work- 
manlike manner. The man at the butt of the hide has 
charge of the rolling of the hides, the man at the head 
following his lead, so that the work can be done with 
speed and neatness. See cut on page 58. 

Tying Hides. 

When tying hides, ropes about seven feet long are 
used. A hide knot is tied in one end of the rope. This 
is the same as a nautical bowline knot, which holds 
the loop without slipping and at the same time allows 
the knot to be untied very easily. The man who is 
tying the hide places the rope under the hide as it 
lies on the floor crosswise of the last fold and slips 
the rope through the loop, drawing it taut and drag- 
ging the hide over on the round end of the fold. Ex- 
perts in this line of work give the bundle a sudden jerk, 
which puts the rope around the whole bundle, permit- 


ting of quick tying. The bundle, after being tied 
tight, is placed in its respective pile. 

Hide Ropes. 

There are numerous grades and qualities of hide 
rope, from two-ply sisal to five-ply jute. The two-ply 
sisal rope weighs the least of any of the others in 
the unoiled grade and is also the most expensive. 
Lightweight ropes are wound into ropes of one hun- 
dred strands, while the heavier weight ropes contain 
only fifty strands to the coil. The ropes come rolled 
up in a large coil weighing from one hundred and fifty 

The nautical bowline knot is used in making the loop on hide 
strings for tying hides in bundles. The accompanying cut is very 
clear in showing the manner of making the knot. In tightening 
the knot, pull the main strand and the end of the string. This knot 
will not slip and is exceedingly easy to loosen, by bending it until 
the end becomes loosened. 

to two hundred and twenty-five pounds. The strand 
is unwound as needed and cut up into suitable lengths, 
about seven feet for heavy hides. The rope, of course, 
is sold as hide, when weighed up, and for this reason 
a medium-weight quality is usually selected. One 
hundred strings of two or three ply sisal rope will 
weigh about nine pounds, while the heavy jute rope 
averages about eighteen pounds to a hundred strings. 
Any rope weighing under ten pounds to the hundred 
strings is acceptable to the buyers, but they enter a 
vigorous protest and demand an additional tare if any. 
heavier weight is used. It is only unscrupulous sellers 
who will endeavor to sell this extra weight in hide 


Marking Hides. 

Some tanneries have elaborate systems of checking 1 
and re-checking results on every car of hides they tan, 
and for this purpose mark every hide as taken up with 
a design, figure or mark on the butt of the tail. As a 
general rule, however, it is only in sample lots of 
hides that tanners desire the stock marked, as they 
usually know what returns they can expect on hides 
they have handled before through the tanneries. The 
tool for marking the hides is generally a die set in a 
special hammer head, this being hit with a hammer 
or the impression made with the die without the aid 
of another tool. Tanners, by this means, are enabled 
to identify the hides in a certain carload and watch the 
results closely through the entire course of manufac- 
turing and selling. 

Horn and Wire Scratches. 

Packer hides show horn scratches, owing to the 
class of cattle usually purchased by the killers, but 
with the improvement of range conditions, horned cat- 
tle are being bred out or dehorned. But this improve- 
ment is offset by the increase in the number of wire 
scratches every hide carries. With the dividing of the 
vast ranges into small farms and ranches, barbed wire 
was employed by the many land owners in fencing 
their domain. Barbed wire is a cheap and effective 
fencing material, but it damages hides to a great ex- 
tent. One encounter with barbs is usually enough for 
most cattle, but the grain of the hide always carries 
the marks. 

Manured Hides and Tare. 

A manure is estimated to weigh three pounds, but 
if the manured spot is heavier than this, additional 
manures are counted. The number of manures on a 
hide is limited only by its size. In selecting for 
weights, the scale beam is set to allow for a pound test 
tare. Tare allowance is usually agreed upon between 


the cellar foreman and buyer's receiver. Some of the 
packers, however, insist upon a sweep tare. Ten hides 
are selected, five by the buyer's man and five by the 
seller's representative. The hides, are taken from the 
pile of bundled hides, which are usually placed in 
an out-of-the-way place until ready to ship. The 
bundle on top of the pile is lifted and the one under- 
neath taken for one of the ten hides, and the same 
method is pursued in getting the other nine, selected 
promiscuously from the pile. A correct proportion of 
the different weights is taken. The ten hides are 
then carefully weighed, opened up and the surplus salt 
and water swept off. This operation is supposed not 
to occupy a longer time than two hours. The hides 
are then rolled up and weighed again, the difference in 
the two weights being taken as the basis for tare al- 
lowance on the car in question. Each carload taken up 
is treated in the same manner. As a general rule, 
however, the tare on the car of hides is mutually 
agreed upon by the buyer and seller, based upon the 
condition of the hides as they are being taken up. 

Grubbing Hides. 

The percentage of grubs in a car of hides taken up 
is generally agreed upon between the cellar foreman 
and the buyer's representative. However, if an agree- 
ment cannot be reached on this question, either party 
can demand twenty hides for grubbing purposes. The 
hides are procured in the same manner as for sweep 
tare. Other methods are also followed. Disinter- 
ested parties may pick out the hides or else they can 
be thrown off of the truckloads as. weighed, one from 
an occasional load. Technically speaking, one grub 
constitutes a number two hide, as the clear hide is 
spoiled by the grub hole. However, in the interest 
of speed and economy, the packers and tanners agree 
upon the grubbing privilege. The number of hides 
containing live grubs in the twenty hides selected for 
grubbing determines the percentage for the car lot in 

In this picture the bullocks have been skinned down to the shoul- 
ders and the carcass split into two halves. The hide dropper 
takes the hide off the shoulders, forelegs and neck and the 
chuck splitter severs the shoulders, making two sides of the 
carcass. The meat is then run into a cooler and the hide 
dropped down to the hide cellar. 


question. Number one hides only are grubbed. Sec- 
onds on a cut selection are already imperfect. 

After having grubbed twenty hides, should either 
party be dissatisfied with the result, they can demand 
an additional twenty hides for further grubbing. The 
result of the grubbing of the last twenty hides is con- 
sidered along with the first twenty in computing the 
percentage of grubs in the carload. In other words, 
the percentage of grubs is figured on the whole forty 
hides grubbed. This can be followed out again, an- 
other twenty hides being taken, the grubbing on the 
sixty hides being final, but it is seldom that even forty 
hides are taken. 

The hides selected for grubbing are spread out on 
the floor, one by one, as needed, and the receiver's 
agent proceeds to locate as many grubs as possible, up 
to five. He cuts the scurf and loose flesh away from 
the body of the hide with his knife — in New York a 
spade is used — until the hide surface is clearly ex- 
posed. The grubs can then be plainly seen and 
skewered. When five grubs are found another hide is 
laid on the floor. Usually, when four, and sometimes 
three, grubs are found, the remaining one or two are 
there, if sought for diligently. It is the boast of some 
expert grubbers that they have never gotten up from 
a four-grub hide. There are times, however, when 
five are difficult to locate, even after securing four of 
them. The time of grubbing is not limited, but it is 
not supposed to be lengthened beyond a reasonable 
period for scrutinizing every hide carefully. 

Pates, and Shanks. 

Tanneries which are not equipped to handle offal 
leathers properly, or do not want to bother with this 
class of stock, occasionally purchase trimmed hides, 
pates and shanks off. The packers will trim off the 
pates or pates and shanks whenever buyers desire this 
done. Both sides of the head and the ears are taken 
off with one cut straight across the hide at this point, 


and the shanks are removed just above the duclaws. 
The buyer pays for these trimmings at the regular 
price of the hides, but later is given a credit, usually 
of 50c to 85c a hundred pounds for their weight. The 
packers sell the pates to tanners of offal, or if there 
is no call for this stock, put them in with the shanks 
and tag ends and dispose of them as glue stock. 

Packer Hide Selections. 

Native steers are steer hides free of brands, and are 
graded in weights, as follows: Heavy hides, above 
60 pounds; light hides, between 50 and 60 pounds, 
and extreme light hides, under 50 pounds and down 
to overweight kips, 35 pounds cured weights. When 
steers are sold as killed, the lights go in the lot at 
one cent less than the heavy price, which is always 
the basis quoted, and the extreme lights at two cents 
under the heavy rate. The heavy weights are some- 
times sold by themselves, for special leathers, belting 
butts, for instance; but as a general rule most of the 
tanners of native steers want light and extreme lights, 
and the lighter the average the better they like them. 
The heavies alone are slow sale when offered sepa- 
rately, and for this reason packers generally insist on 
their going in with the lot. Kosher hides are included 
in regular lots at %c reduction, or, if sold alone, go 
at value. Native steers are grubbed from January 
1 to June 1. Number two hides out at one cent re- 
duction from the respective first selections. 

Spready Native Steers. 

Spready native steers, when sold as such, are strictly 
number one stock, free from grubs and all other im- 
perfections. The spread of these hides across the 
shoulders just back of the brisket is supposed to meas- 
ure six feet and six inches, in the West, and six feet and 
eight inches in the eastern markets, where kosher 
stock is largely killed. Packers usually salt the num- 
ber one and two spreadies in the same pack, and 


the tanner's agent throws out the seconds, which are 
generally sold separately, at value. Some of the kill- 
ers will not grade out spreadies in the very grubby 
season unless there is a very good call for them. Each 
spready steer hide is grubbed from January to June. 
Hides with four grubs go as number ones. 

Leather from these hides goes largely into furniture 
and automobile upholstery. Many years ago spread- 
ies brought much lower prices than native steers, as 
the tanners of regular leather did not want such a 
thin, flabby hide. Nowadays this selection brings the 
top price of the list. Kosher spready native steers 
have to measure six feet and eight inches in the west- 
ern markets to merit this designation, cured measure- 
ments. Allow four inches on green hides for shrink- 
age to cured measurements. 

Of late it has been customary to sell spready native 
steers covering two periods of the year. They are 
generally sold January to June kill and June to Jan- 
uary kill. The latter selection usually has the best 
call, for upholstery leathers, while January to June 
hides are not so suitable for this purpose. They are 
very grubby in the winter months, and not many are 
made in this season. Some packers will not grade out 
spreadies in the grubby period. 

Spready native cows are number one native cow- 
hides measuring six feet and four inches across the 
shoulders. In the country market this selection is 
generally graded at six feet and three inches, with some 
of the dealers insisting upon six-feet-and-two-inch 
hides going in with the regular spreadies. Number 
two spready cows are sorted on a one-grub selection 
in addition to the ordinary second selection for cuts, 
scores, hair slips, etc. They are sold at value, with 
seconds a cent less, or at ruling prices if sold alone. 

Heavy native cows are also sought after eagerly on 
account of the good demand for upholstery leathers. 
The eastern tanners, centered in Newark, N. J., who 
are the principal users of these hides, come into the 


market early in the spring or summer and purchase 
their year's supply, taking hides ahead for six to 
eight months. Hides for upholstery leathers have to 
be choice in quality, and winter hides are therefore un- 
fit for this purpose. 

Texas Steers. 

Texas steers are branded range steers from Texas, 
generally, but not necessarily. Their quality for sole- 
leather purposes is their principal asset. The hide is 
a narrow one, especially so through the shoulders, and 
very plump, having a feel almost like sole leather, 
even when in the green state. The original Texas 
steer was a long-horned yellow beast, called a "yellow- 
jacket." This animal was the product of the range, 
nourished on what little rough stuff he could find 
growing in those semi-arid sections, and hardy enough 
to withstand the rigorous winters. His strength went 
principally to the hide, which protected him in hot and 
ccld weather. Occasionally a few of these "bone- 
crates" are seen at the "yards," but they are growing 
scarcer, as, with improved conditions on the ranges, 
the quality of the beef is raised where formerly scant 
attention was paid to providing fodder and shelter 
for stock. 

The same weight selections apply to Texas steers 
as are noted under native steers. In direct opposi- 
tion to the native steers, heavy Texas sell better than 
lights, being in good demand for sole leather. Not 
many of the sole-leather tanneries are equipped to 
handle light and extreme light weights in tanning. 
The two latter-named grades sometimes sell at a dis- 
count of from a cent and a quarter to a cent and a 
half from the heavy price, when moved separately or 
with heavies, as to the state of the market and unsold 
stocks. The usual one-cent spread is adhered to un- 
der normal conditions. On the other hand, this spread 
may be shortened to less than the usual cent differen- 
tial due to existing market conditions. 



Some "fed stock" pass with the range Texas, but if 
they show "manures," are generally thrown out, as 
good Texas cattle have no opportunity to gather 
dirt. Free-of-brand steers at Texas points are always 
sold at Texas steers. The grubbing privilege on 
Texas steers extends from November i to June i. 
Number two hides go at the usual one-cent reduc- 
tion from the number one price, of their respective 
selections, or at value if sold alone. 

Butt Branded Steers. 

Butt-branded steers have a brand on the rump, 
generally on one side only, although it makes no 
difference if there are marks on both sides. The brand 
must not extend over eighteen inches up from the 
butt of the hide, otherwise it is a Colorado steer. They 
are graded in the three weights — heavies, above 60 
pounds; lights, 50 to 60 pounds, and extreme light 
weights, 25 to 50 pounds. The price is graded at the 
usual one-cent reductions on the lights and extreme 
lights.. It is very seldom that there are any extreme 
light butts made, they usually going into Texas 
steers under normal conditions. Whenever any are 
found they are, as a rule, put right in with the lights 
at the same price, or thrown out altogether, a good 
many of the tanneries not being equipped to handle 
hides under 50 pounds in weight. This selection is 
more on the free-of-brand order on account of the 
great amount of clear space on the hide. Butt-branded 
steers are usually received in quantities at the yards 
during the winter months, the native season. They 
are used for purposes similar to native steers in the 
summer period and go into sole leather in the winter, 
when they are unfit for high-class leathers requiring 
choice hides. Kosher butt brands go out at the usual 
%c reduction from the list price of the various grades, 
when included in regular lots, or at value if disposed of 
separately. The grubbing privilege extends from Jan- 


uary i to June I. Number two hides go out at the 
usual one-cent reductions from the first selection in 
the various weights. 

Colorado Steers. 

Colorado steers are side-branded stock, marked on 
one or both sides. They are longer through the 
brisket, producing a greater spread across the shoul- 
ders than Texas steers, and have a flabby feel on ac- 
count of the spongy nature of the hide, due to im- 
proved breeding. They are selected for the three 
weights — heavies, over 60 pounds ; lights, 50 to 60 
pounds, and extreme lights, 25 to 50 pounds. Very 
few extreme lights are made, as they go into Texas 
steers when found. Lights go at the usual one-cent 
reduction from the heavies, and the extreme lights at 
one cent under lights, when included with regular lots. 
As is the case with butt brands, however, very few 
extreme lights are found, and they sometimes go right 
in with the lights, at the same price, or else put in 
with the extreme light Texas steers. Kosher Colo- 
rado steers go at %c reduction from the list price of 
regular lots, or at value if moved alone. The grub- 
bing privilege extends from December 1 to June 1. 
Number two hides go at the usual one-cent discount 
from number one price in the various weights. 

Branded Cows. 

Branded cows are simply branded cows. They are 
not selected for weights, being sold flat in this re- 
spect. The average weight is generally much below 
Texas steers, and koshers are seldom found in this 
grade. When located Koshers go out at *4c reduc- 
tion. As is the case with Texas steers, this selec- 
tion does not show heavy in manures. It is grubbed 
from November 1 to June 1. Grubs generally come in 
early at Texas points and leave early, so that the 
grubbing dates could very well be advanced thirty 



days and still remain satisfactory to all parties. Sec- 
onds out at one cent discount from the number one 

Native Cows. 

Native cows are free of brands and graded in two 
weights; over 55 pounds and under 55 pounds, the 
former termed heavies and the latter lights. Each 
selection is sold at value, with seconds at the usual 
one-cent discount. Three selections are made by some 
packers when wanted — over 55 pounds, heavies ; 45 

The splitting of the ears on green hides is clearly shown in the 
accompanying cut. One cut with the knife is all that is necessary 
to lay the ear open, so that it will lie flat in the packs. 

to 55 pounds, lights, and 25 to 45 pounds, extreme 
lights. Each grade is moved at value, as noted above. 
These selections are grubbed from January 1 to June 
1, with koshers at l / 2 c reduction on the heavies and 
j4c off on the straight lights, or lights and extreme 
lights, as to the way they are graded. Extreme lights 
seldom bring any premium over the straight lights, 
as the killers generally will not make the 45 to 55 
pounds selection unless they can dispose of the ex- 
treme lights at the same price. In the country market 
the weights 25 to 45 pounds are eagerly sought on 


account of the good demand for patent leather. These 
hides are worked into a variety of leathers. 

Native Bulls. 

Native bulls are free-of-brand bulls and stags, sold 
flat, as to ones and twos, and not grubbed. Bulls are 
characterized by their tough pate, thick, ribby neck 
and thin butt. There are few koshers. Most of the 
packers will make special selections and weights in 
this grade, as to tanners' wants. Heavy bulls are 
sorted at 75 or 85 pounds as to buyers' desires. 

Spready native bulls are seldom sorted out by the big 
packers. Brokers sometimes make this selection them- 
selves, selling the various grades to different tanners. 
Packer native bulls, spready and narrow, are always 
sold at a flat price. Spready native bulls measure six 
feet across the shoulders, just behind the brisket, and 
are strictly number one hides. They are sold at value 
with the seconds also at the ruling market price. 

Branded Bulls. 

Branded bulls and stags are sold flat as to price and 
not grubbed throughout the year. The southern points 
of slaughter are in the best demand, as they run 
lighter in average and more uniform in thickness. 
They have the tough pate, thick neck and thin butt, but 
not relatively so prominent as native stock. Mexican 
bulls are sometimes hard to distinguish from Texas 
steers for this reason. Native bulls in Texas go as 
branded. There are few koshers. Light average bulls 
work well into sole and harness leather. 



In the United States all domestic green salted hides 
not taken off at the large packing plants are termed 
country hides. In many instances they are from the 
same kinds of cattle which are killed by the packers. 

Country hides differ principally from packer stock 
in that the flaying is poorly and imperfectly done, with- 
out any uniform system or pattern. They are seldom 
delivered out of first salt. Cut, scored and poor-pat- 
terned hides are the usual run of country deliveries. 
The hides originate with the farmers and country 
butchers, who either salt them a little or sell them 
green to small country collectors, who in turn put 
the hides in pack, wetting them plentifully and dis- 
pose of them to tanners or larger dealers. As a 
general rule the tanners decline to operate directly in 
the country, as they cannot get the selections and 
weights desired in sufficient quantities. 

The larger dealers select the hides purchased in 
the country into the several weights and grades of 
steers and cows, branded and native, so that buyers 
can get almost any selections and weights wanted. 
Butt-branded hides are included with the natives and 
kosher stock is sold with the regular stuck-throats, 
unless otherwise specified by buyers. Cut-throat 
country hides are subject to a discount of twenty- 
five cents per hide when so stipulated by the buyer. 
Country hides, as a rule, receive so many wettings 
and are resalted with dirty, fine sale so often that they 
have a dark flesh color and lose a portion of the sub- 
stance needed to make leather. 

The number two selection is effective on hides with 
cuts, scores, grubs, hairslips or of poor pattern. A 
hide with a cut near the edge which can be trimmed 
out without spoiling the pattern is a number one, if 
so trimmed. Hides, with many cuts, scores or hairslips 
are thrown out as glues and sold at their value. "Pep- 
perboxes," or very grubby hides, also go as glue stock. 


In curing country hides, fine salt is generally used. 
If the hides are salted in small piles, one hide on top 
of the other, flesh side up, with new, fine salt, they 
will cure in less than three days, at which time they 
are ready to be placed in regular packs, but if stock 
is put in regular packs green, allow more salt and a 
longer time to cure, say, a little over a week, although 
less time may do. 

As a general rule the hides have the sinews and 
tail bones left in, with the cheeks in also. The tanners 
or dealers who purchase these hides have a hard time 
getting the sellers to trim off this refuse, but the tan- 
ners cannot use it and do not have to purchase it along 
with the hides when buying from the larger dealers. 

Country Hide Selections. 

Heavy country steers are free of brands over 60 
pounds in weight and are sold at value. Seconds go 
at the usual one-cent reduction. One grub consti- 
tutes a number two hide. Every hide in the country 
market has to be grubbed. There is no grubbing priv- 
ileges, such as scrutinizing twenty hides as a basis 
for the percentage on the car. One grub whenever 
found makes a second-grade hide. Butt-branded steers 
go in with the natives in the regular grade, unless 
strictly free of brand stock is specified by the pur- 
chaser. Light steers are sometimes sold at one cent 
discount, but generally are moved alone at value or 
in buff weights. 

Heavy Cows. 

Heavy cows are free-of-brand cows over 60 pounds 
in weight, but sometimes are sold as low as 50 pounds 
when middleweight hides are slow of sale and heavies 
in demand. Market conditions govern the price of this 
selection, with the seconds at one cent discount. One 
grub whenever found constitutes a number two hide, 
with the other imperfections also counting in this 


Buff Hides. 

Buffs are free-of-brand cows and steers 45 to 60 
pounds in the Chicago market and 40 to 60 pounds in 
most of the other hide centers. The great demand for 
extreme light hides is the cause of the shortening of 
the weight of this selection in the primary market. 
No one seems to know exactly the origin of the word 
buff as applied to this selection of hides, but it is gen- 
erally thought to apply to the class of leather orig- 
inally made from these weights, called "buffed stock." 
The term ''light cows" is sometimes applied to this 
grade, and is directly applicable, as the weights agree 
with the light selections in the packer hides. The 
steers in this selection are sometimes sold out and 
called light steers, 50 to 60 pounds. As a general rule 
there are not many steers in the buffs, as country 
butchers slaughter cows principally, while the steers 
are fattened by the farmers and feeders for shipment 
to the "yards." There is no custom-made law com- 
manding that the steers be sold along with the cows 
in buff weights, but they are generally included by the 
sellers unless there is a good demand for light steers. 
The number two hides go at a cent a pound less than 
the sale price when included with regular lots, or at 
value if disposed of separately. In the winter period 
seconds, when moved alone, sell at more than the usual 
cent discount, while in the summer, when the hides 
are good, some lots go at }^c under the number one 
rate. This is largely due to the fact that there are 
many hides in the lots with one clear side. This can 
only be done in the summer hair season. Hides with 
one clear side in former years were sold as the "B" 
selection and usually went at half a cent under the 
number one price. This grading was dropped, as the 
tanners refused to buy it any more, feeling that they 
would relatively cheapen their purchases by getting 
them along with the regular number twos. Native and 
butt-branded bulls under 60 pounds and butt-branded 


steers and cows go in with the buff weights. One grub 
designates a number two hide. 

Extreme Light Hides. 

Extremes are free-of-brand cows and steers 25 to 

45 pounds in the Chicago market and 25 to 40 pounds 
elsewhere. The heavy demand for this weight of hides 
by tanners of side upper and patent leather is re- 
sponsible for the lengthening of the weight selection 
in this market. When the buffs or middle weights are 
not in good request this selection is sometimes sold 25 
to 50 pounds, making only two selections in native 
stock, extremes and heavy cows. Seconds go at the 
usual one-cent reduction from the number one price 
with regular lots, or at value if moved alone. There 
is generally a good demand for seconds in all weights 
for cheap leathers, so that dealers can improve the 
quality of their regular stock by selling a larger per- 
centage of number ones. In the winter months, how- 
ever, there are few buyers for seconds. Bulls and 
butt-branded hides in these weights go right in with 
the extremes. One grub makes a number two hide. 


Kip skins are free-of-brand cows and steers, 15 to 25 
pounds, with bull calves included. Branded and run- 
ner kip (runts) are sold at value. Packer skins are 
sold flat, but on country lots a reduction of a cent and 
a half is allowed on seconds. Grubby skins go as 
seconds whenever found. In the winter months this 
selection is extremely poor in quality and is difficult to 

Overweight Kipskins. 

Overweight kips range at 25 to 35 pounds and are 
sorted in the regular manner for ones and twos, with 
the seconds at the one-cent reduction from the first 
selection. Grubby hides are classed as seconds, or, if 
"pepperboxes," go out as glues. In the winter season 


this selection is undesirable, as the hides are poor in 
quality and the hair is very long. They are sold at 


Calfskins range at 8 to 15 pounds in the country 
market and in the packer market all skins under 15 
pounds, except slunks, are sold as calfskins. Light 
calf in the country market are sorted at 7 to 8 
pounds and deacons at under 7 pounds. They are 
sold by the piece at value. Deacon skins with a good 
spread are sorted as light calf. Deacons go at 20c 
under the light calf rate, which is the governing ar 
tide for these two weights. Runty packer deacons are 
generally thrown in the slunk pile. Calfskins are sold 
at value, with seconds at a cent and a half reduction 
from the number one price. Packer calfskins are sold 
at a flat price for ones and twos. The skins are graded 
into various selections, as to quality. City skins out 
of first salt are moved separately and outside cities; 
first salted or resalted are also classed by themselves. 
Country skins make up the remainder of the divisions, 
being poorly taken-off stock, meaty and poor in pat- 
tern. In the East, calfskins are trimmed, heads and 
feet off, and sold flat, as to ones and twos, by the piece, 
at value. In the western markets skins are untrimmed 
and usually have the tailbone and sinews in. Calfskins 
come freely during April, May and June and are light 
in weight. Tanners during these months usually want 
a heavyweight skin for winter wear, while in winter, 
when skins are heavier, they want light ones for spring 
and summer shoes. 

Domestic Calfskins. 

As a general rule, calfskins are of better take-off 
than hides. This is occasioned largely by the methods 
employed in their slaughter and sale. In certain sea- 
sons of the year, the packers sell large numbers of 
calves with the skins on. The skins are taken off the 


cold calves by the market butchers in the cities who 
are proficient in this line of work. The packing house 
workmen also take off a perfect patterned skin, as the 
animals are skinned while warm. Country butchers 
and dealers who make a specialty of this class of work 
purchase and kill calves, sending them to the cities in 
the state where killed, owing to the rigorous govern- 
ment inspection laws. These calves are simply dressed, 
the skin being left on, which is afterward sicinned by 
the city market butchers. A very small proportion of 
the calfskins in America are of poor take-off and pat- 
tern due to these conditions of slaughter and sale. 

In most of the cities rendering concerns call at the 
various butcher shops daily and collect the bones, 
scrap meat and calfskins. These collectors in turn salt 
the skins and usually sell them out of first salt to larger 
dealers or tanners direct. It will thus be seen that on 
the average calfskins in America are of good pattern, 
in excellent fresh condition and suitable for conversion 
into colored leather. 

Slunk Skins. 

Slunk skins are unborn calves and are sorted into 
two divisions, skins with the hair on and hairless. 
Slunks are sold per piece at value. 

Branded country hides have brands on one or both 
sides of the hide and are sold flat at value, as to per- 
centage of steers included, take-off and condition. It 
is usually customary to figure l / 2 c advance for hides out 
of first salt and bundle condition over packed stock. 
Branded hides are graded in two weights, under and 
over forty pounds, light and heavy hides, respectively. 

Country Bull Hides. 

Bulls, native and branded, are sold separately and at 
value. Number two bulls go at the usual one-cent 
discount. The weight selection on this grade of hides 
is over 60 pounds. Tanners can get heavy or light 


Bulls Under Sixty Pounds. 

In country hide classifications, a bull hide under 
sixty pounds in weight is classed as a buff hide. How- 
ever, certain of the larger tanners who, in a meas- 
ure, can enforce their demands insist upon all staggy 
hides being thrown out of the buff weights and sold 
separately as bulls. These bulls and stags under sixty 
pounds in weight are much more desirable than the 
regular bulls over sixty pounds, but are not worth 
regular buff hide prices. In packer hides, a bull or 
stag hide is sold as such, no matter what the weight 
may be. 

Glue Hides. 

Glue hides are both cows and steers of all weights, 
sold on the market at value on a flat basis. What 
constitutes a glue hide is occasionally the cause of 
much argument. If the hide is tainted, salt-rusted so 
that the hair slips, very badly grubby (pepperboxes) 
or very irregular-patterned hides, practically pieces of 
hides, they are classed as glues. 


Horsehides are sold by the piece, as to size and 
condition of the butt of the hide. The butts are 
trimmed off and sold for export for use in boots in 
Russia, where a thick, non-porous leather is wanted on 
account of the cold and snow. The nature of the 
horse butt makes it ideally adaptable for this purpose. 
Tails and manes are not sold with the hide unless 
their value is added to the sale price. The hide should 
be free from cuts, scores, brands or dragged spots, 
and especially so on the butt for twenty-one inches up 
from the tail on large hides to merit the number one 
grade. The butts are trimmed off twenty-one inches 
up from the tail, the cut being made clear across the 
hide at this point, taking the two hind shanks as well. 
The fronts are sold and used in this country for glove 


and shoe leathers principally. Seconds, cut, scored and 
dragged hides go at $1.00 reduction from the number 
one price. Ponies, glues and colts are sold separately, 
by the piece, at value. 


Hogskins are sold flat per piece. These skins are 
usually badly cut and a strictly number one skin is a 
rarity unless there is a lot of fat left on it. Butchers 
generally want to sell as much of the fat with the 
meat as possible, which is responsible in a large meas- 
ure for the great number of cuts. Skins clear of cuts 
across the shoulders are the most valuable, as they 
are then suitable for pad saddles and other articles 
requiring a clear piece of hog leather. Of late years, 
however, these skins have been worked into a variety 
of leathers, so that the old grading is becoming obso- 
lete. If the skins are badly cut they go out as glues, 
which sell with the pigskins at half price. 

Sheep Pelts. 

Sheepskins are taken off the animal by opening the 
belly, legs and head with a knife, and pulling the skin 
off the carcass, so as to avoid cutting the pelt. When 
pulling, the skins are kneaded with the hands, as they 
will tear if pulled hard. The shanks are generally cut 
off, as there is no wool on them and they are not 
needed for leather. The skins are salted liberally with 
new, fine salt, piled one on top of the other, flesh side 
up. Piles should not be too high. As they grow in 
height the slope at the edges increases until the top 
layers will not hold the salt. After lying for a week 
or so, according to the quantity of salt used, they are 
ready to be taken up and shipped. The wool is pulled 
off the skins and the slat is pickled to keep it in 
merchantable condition, or else tanned immediately. 
All grades of sheepskins are saved. Small lambs, 
known as spring lambs, throw skins about the size of 


an ordinary suitcase, but as the animal grows larger 
the prefix "spring" is dropped and they become lambs 
until the first clipping, when they are known as shear- 
lings, along with the other shorn sheepskins. After 
an animal has been shorn it becomes a sheep in stock 
parlance. During the wool season, skins are graded 
for heavy and light weights, the dividing line being at 
12 pounds green weight. The lightweight skins usu- 
ally bring about th^: same price throughout the sea- 
son, providing the market shows no material change, 
while the heavy skins become more valuable as the staple 
of the wool lengthens. Some heavy skins weigh as 
high as thirty pounds. When the shearing season 
opens, some lots of siheep are sold to the killers imme- 
dately afte r shearing, and the skins have very little 
wool on them. They are known as clips and bring a 
poor price, the slat representing about the only value 
in them. Sheepskins are always sold at value on the 
market, the different grades bearing no relation to each 
other in price considerations. 

Dry Hides. 

Domestic dry hides are sun or shade dried hides 
of all weights, cows and steers. They are graded into 
heavies over 16 pounds ; trimmed, heads and shanks off, 
and untrimmed the full hide and lights under 16 
pounds. Skins are sorted under 6 pounds. The sec- 
onds sometimes go at one cent reduction, but a flat 
price is usually paid for both grades. Untrimmed 
stock sells at a cent under the trimmed rate. Glues 
and dry salted stock are sold at value. Fallen hides 
in the above selections generally sell at about three 
cents under the trimmed heavyweight price, according 
to the condition of the market. The best hides are 
taken off by butchers from cattle they slaughter. 
These are called flint-dried, while murrain hides are 
known as fallen stock. 



Outside Hide Deliveries. 

All of the packers have packing plants at outside 
points and, therefore, have hides to sell at these places. 
In order to simplify the buying and at the same time 
allow a wider field of operations, all hides sold are 
moved as if sold direct from Chicago. The freight on 
every car of hides from an outside point is paid by the 
packer to Chicago, should they go through this mar- 
ket, or the freight is equalized for eastern shipment. 
Equalized freight means that the difference in rate 
between the point of origin and the Chicago rate to 
destination is paid by the packer. In former years 
all trades were made with Chicago freight allowed 
from outside points. Some tanners were able to ob- 
tain an advantage until the equalized basis was in- 
stituted. This latter method of selling hides is uni- 
versal now. Every tanner who buys packer hides at 
no matter what point pays freight from Chicago only. 

Hide Market Barometers. 

Branded cows and extreme light Texas steers usu- 
ally bring about the same price, with the steers some- 
times at Y^z premium, owing to a better demand. 
Butt-branded steers follow native steer prices up and 
down throughout the summer months, the native pe- 
riod, but more closely trail the Colorado fluctuations 
in the winter, when sole leather tanners are the prin- 
cipal buyers. Colorado steers take their cue from 
light Texas steer prices. Native cows more closely 
follow the native steers variations and country buff 
prices in the light weights. Heavy native cows and 
bulls are ruled principally by the law of supply and 
demand, which is also the monitor in the other selec- 
tions, all other rules to the contrary notwithstanding. 
When certain leathers are in feverish demand, the 
hides from which they are made rise in price, but the 


above guides have been rather closely followed in 
recent years. 

Native and Branded Seasons. 

Branded and native cattle come to the stock yards 
in certain seasons. The native cattle are received in 
large numbers in the winter months, especially steers 
from the feeding stations. Native cows are received 
largely in the winter, when they throw heavy hides 
principally owing to the long hair and dirt in it, while 
the light hides predominate in the summer run on 
account of the short hair and clean condition of the 
hide. Branded cattle are received mostly in the sum- 
mer and fall, principally the latter period. Range 
cattle, after being fed on grass through the summer, 
are shipped in as fast as fit, and in the fall, up to the 
first heavy snow, come in large numbers. The first 
severe storm on the ranges stops the run automatic- 
ally. Butt-branded steers come in the winter months, 
along- with the fed native steers, as they are on this 
order of cattle. Colorado and Texas steers and 
branded cows constitute the run of branded cattle. 

Summer Hides. 

Summer hides are more desirable, owing to their 
short hair and consequent reduction in moisture-car- 
rying capabilities, and also to their uniform plump- 
ness, the animal strength going more largely to hide- 
making than hair. In the winter the animal puts on 
hair at the expense of the hide substance. The hide 
itself loses its plumpness and becomes flabby to the 
feel, the long hair also carrying moisture and ma- 
nure, on which proper allowance is difficult to agree 
upon. Cattle hair brings a poor price compared with 
the cost of it on the hide, and, therefore, long-haired 
hides are studiously avoided by most tanners. There 
are certain kinds of leathers requiring choice hides, 
which qualifications winter hides do not fill. The 


long-haired stock is generally turned into sole leather 
in the very grubby periods, like the February and 
March killings. The shrinkage on winter hides in 
transit is much greater than on stock of summer 

Average Shrinkage. 

Packer hides are noted for their almost perfect 
flaying, the percentage of seconds ranging from half 
of one per cent to three per cent on ordinary-sized 
packs. The average shrinkage on summer green hides 
is about eighteen per cent, and on winter haired stock, 
thirteen per cent. However, there is one of the "big 
six" packers who builds his packs in such a manner 
that at least twenty-one per cent of the green weight 
is lost in curing in the summer. Shrinkages as low as 
eight per cent have been obtained with particularly 
dry green hides put in special packs and delivered 
with normal tare under favorable conditions. An aver- 
age yearly shrinkage is about fifteen to sixteen per 

Cash and Credit. 

All grades and classes of hides are cash commodities 
and subject to sight draft. This is especially so in the 
packer market. Some country dealers allow credit of 
thirty to ninety days to special customers. This prac- 
tice has become more prevalent of late years. Some 
of the tanners are well able to pay cash for their raw 
material, but are endeavoring to buy hides on the 
same basis as leather is sold, so that they will not have 
such large amounts of capital tied up in raw stock. 

After hides are weighed in the packers' cellars, the 
weight sheets are sent to the auditing office, where 
they are figured up and sight draft with bill of lading 
attached put through the regular banking channels. 
Ihis is also done in the country deliveries when the 
terms are cash. When credit is given, a due bill or 
note is taken from the buyer. 


Car Lots and Less Than Car Lots. 

Cattle hides and calfskins are scheduled for freight 
purposes as third class, when shipped by local freight, 
and as fifth class in carloads. The minimum weight 
on carloads from the West into Chicago is 30,000 
pounds; from the Northwest, 26,000 pounds, and from 
Chicago east, 36,000 pounds are required to obtain the 
carload rate. The number of hides considered neces- 
sary to make up a carload vary according to the av- 
erage weights. Packer light native and branded cows 
are generally shipped a thousand in a car, while six 
hundred heavy Texas steers are required to make car 
weight. Five hundred native bulls of heavy average 
are a carload. 

There are no imperative rules governing the number 
of the various grades of hides required to make car- 
load sales of hides. The quantity is usually specifically 
stated in addition to the fact that a car is sold. For 
instance, "A," a packer, sells to "B," a tanner, a carload 
of butt-branded steers. The confirmation usually 
states that "one car, 600 hides," is booked to the buyer 
with usual terms and conditions. The same condition 
exists in the country market ; the number of hides 
should be specified when buying and selling carload 
lots alone. Six hundred heavy steers in the country 
market are supposed to make car weight, the same 
number of heavy cows, eight hundred buffs, one thou- 
sand extremes or fifteen hundred kip skins. From 
three to five thousand calfskins are loaded into a car, 
according to the season of the year and average weight 
of the skins sold. 

History of Hide Tariffs. 

An examination of all the revenue bills of the United 
States shows that hides and skins were admitted free 
of duty for seventy-eight years and were dutiable at 
various rates and for different periods, amounting in 
all to about thirty years prior to the enactment of the 


Dingley law in 1897. Hides and skins were first taxed 
August 30, 1842, the object of the bill being to in- 
crease the revenues. The vetoes of President Tyler of 
two tariff bills had caused a treasury deficit, and hides 
and skins were taxed five per cent ad valorem. By 
the act of March 3, 1857, the tariff was reduced to four 
per cent. The act of March 2, 1861, put the rate back 
to five per cent and it so remained until the act of 
August 5, 1861, when almost everything was taxed to 
produce revenue to carry on the civil war, and the 
duty on hides and skins was increased to ten per cent. 
This duty remained in force until the act of June 6, 
1872, when hides and skins were put upon the free list, 
where they remained undisturbed in any of the general 
tariff revisions until the Dingley bill, which taxed 
hides of cattle fifteen per cent, became a law June 24, 


It will be seen from this brief history that hides 
prior to 1897 were free except during short periods 
when the government needed revenue, and that the 
tax was never more than ten per cent and was always 
made to apply to all descriptions of hides and skins. 
The Dingley law, therefore, was a new departure in 
hide tariffs which proved burdensome and oppressive 
in its operation. It made the duty five per cent more 
than it had ever been before and taxed cattle hides 
only, leaving all other kinds of hides and all descrip- 
tions of skins on the free list. 

The Payne bill became a law August 5, 1909. It 
restored cattle hides to the free list which had been 
dutiable since 1897. 



General Market Information. 

It would be well for the country collectors to con- 
sider closely the deliveries which Chicago dealers are 
compelled to give purchasing tanners in order to move 
less desirable grades of hides and also the close scru- 
tiny which each hide bears and the attention given 
by tanners to proper condition on regular lots. Hides 
delivered to tanners from prominent dealers" in Chi- 
cago and other centers are practically in as good con- 
dition as packer hides, except that they are resalted 
and not a bright color on the flesh. 

Local operators who buy hides from first collectors 
are compelled to accept purchases under trying con- 
ditions if the market is in their favor, but are treated 
royally and urged to accept more hides than the pur- 
chase calls for if the market declines before delivery 
and is in the seller's favor. Dealers endeavor to keep 
their trade as much as posible and put up with a good 
many of these inconveniences to do it. City dealers 
contend with many small irritations in accumulating 
stocks of hides which are delivered in a standard 
manner to tanners at various graded prices. 

Reporting the Markets. 

The trade papers, while serving a good purpose, are 
sometimes responsible for some of the inconvenience 
suffered by dealers. Faulty and incorrect informa- 
tion is published occasionally by some reporting 
agencies, or enlightening details are hidden when 
transactions are published which have an unnatural 
effect upon values. Space is so limited in sheets re- 
porting conditions daily that a good deal of qualifying 
data must be omitted, under the impression that what 
is not published is understood by the subscribers. For 
instance, kip skins are usually quoted in a wide range 
during the winter months, the inside figure being the 


market price for the poorer qualities and the outside 
figure for the best grades, with intermediate qualities 
at proportionate values. Other selections are quoted 
in the same way. When the range is about a quarter 
or a half a cent, the higher price is usually the one 
asked for seasonable stock and the inside figure the bid 
of tanners, the last figure paid or the ruling nominal 

There also seems to be an impression among some of 
the subscribers to daily hide market reports that 
when a sale is quoted at a price — for instance, ioj^c 
for buffs running fifty per cent seconds — a flat price 
is meant. This is incorrect. The idea sought to be 
conveyed is that there was a sale at io^c, with half 
of the lot seconds at the usual one-cent discount. Up- 
to-date reporting agencies always quote the highest 
grade in the various selections such as number one 
hides or heavy hides, without qualifying them, while 
subsidiary grades and selections are properly qualified 
when quoted. Many matters are mentioned in these 
reports which are entirely clear to the market-wise, but 
somewhat vague to the inexperienced reader. To this 
end it would be well for subscribers to write for spe- 
cific information governing points in doubt. The in- 
formation would be cheerfully given and at the same 
time would furnish an index which would be closely 
watched in the future, thereby benefiting the quality 
of the service rendered to subscribers. 

Buying Hides Flat. 

With the stiff competition for hides among buyers 
from first collectors and butchers, it has become some- 
what of a custom to buy hides on a flat basis in the 
country. That is, the numbers one and two hides are 
bought without selection, at the same price. Dealers 
many times have organized to suppress this custom, 
but have^ always been unsuccessful. This method of 
buying hides puts a premium upon poor flaying, as the 
farmer or butcher who kills the animal knows that all 


the hides will sell at an equal price, whether ones or 
twos. However, buyers endeavor to buy hides on a 
relative selected basis, by keeping track of the numbers 
one and two hides in the previous lots. The buyer 
who has purchased similar lots before of course has 
the advantage of knowing about how the hides will 
run, but buyers with no previous experience will prob- 
ably pay dearly for their first purchases. This method of 
buying hides is unsatisfactory to both dealers and first 
collectors. Dealers are willing and even anxious to 
buy hides on a selected basis, but butchers decline to 
do business in this manner, and the competition for 
hides compels a continuance of the old faulty system. 

Bundle Condition. 

Country hides are sometimes delivered in bundle 
condition. This is largely true of country branded 
hides, but the native selections are sometimes deliv- 
ered in this manner. Bundle condition means that the 
hides were not placed in packs for wetting and re- 
salting, but are delivered in the original manner as 
received from the country collecting agencies. Bundled 
hides are usually in dry condition and bring a 
premium over hides which have been repacked and 
treated in the usual manner. A small tare is allowed 
on bundled hides. 

Influence of the Seasons, Upon Packer and 
Country Hides. 

The spread or difference in price between packer 
and country hides, on account of the superior quality 
of the former, varies with the seasons of the year and 
the grades of hides in demand for certain kinds of 
leathers. For purposes of comparison, country buff 
hides may be considered with packer light native cow 
rates. In the summer time, when hides are short- 
haired, the normal spread between the prices of these 
two selections is a cent to a cent and a half per pound, 
while in the winter the difference is about two to two 



and a half cents per pound. Of course, this is not in- 
variably followed. Existing conditions of demand have 
an influence upon prices. There are times when a 
disparity of over three cents a pound exists between 

The accompany 
when bundling. Th 


ing cut shows the correct way to fold hides 
row in the head and fold the belly of the hide 
in, laying the shanks back on the belly. Repeat on the other side 
and then fold together, as shown by the dotted lines. After this 
has been done roll the hide into a bundle in three folds. Ruled 
lines on the cut denote hair side. Hides may be rolled either flesh 
or hair side out. 

these selections. Another fact is that packer hides are 
sold with the calendar month of slaughter designated. 
Country hides, however, are not disposed of in this 
way. These hides are usually three months from date 


of slaughter in getting to the primary market. Long- 
haired country hides continue coming to the Chicago 
market well into the summer. On the other hand, 
short-haired hides are received up to and beyond the 
Christmas holidays. In the spring and early summer, 
when packer hides are advancing in value, country 
stock may be stationary or even declining. When 
packer hides are deteriorating in condition, country 
buffs may bring almost as much as packer light native 
cows, owing to the country hides being prime in 

Country Selections and Deliveries. 

Country hides under normal conditions, when re- 
ceived in the dealers' warehouses, are opened and 
sorted into the various grades and selections and piled 
in an out-of-the-way place until sold. Then the selec- 
tion disposed of is put in a regular pack, being liberally 
sprinkled with water to add weight and make the hides 
supple and uniform in condition. 

After lying in pack for a day or so, the hides are 
taken up out of pack and placed in banks. Two men 
take each hide, one at the head and the other at the 
tail, folded in the middle, hair side out, and lay them 
on the floor, piling one on top of the other until there 
are about a hundred and fifty to two hundred hides in 
the bank, according to the grade of hides sold. Addi- 
tional banks are built until enough hides are banked 
for the next day's work. The banks are usually started 
late in the afternoon and at the commencement of 
work the following morning are ready to be taken up. 
They are spread out on the floor, after shaking over a 
horse, one at a time, flesh and hair side up, alternately, 
and selected for ones and twos, the different grades 
being rolled up, hair and flesh side out, as to selection. 

About two to three days are required to deliver a car 
of country extremes, buffs or heavy hides. The hides 
are weighed after sorting and then loaded into cars 
to be shipped to purchasers' plants. Calf and kip skins 


are usually banked in large, round piles or over barrels. 
Sometimes as many as two thousand skins are banked 
in the large piles, while the barrels will not hold many 
more than two hundred. After being banked over 
night the skins are selected. Each skin is examined 
and thrown in its respective pile, as to grades and se- 
lections, and then rolled up in bundles. Kip skins are 
put three in a bundle and calfskins five in a bundle. 
Deacons and light calf are rolled up with as many 
skins as can comfortably be tied up, as they are sold 
by the piece and have no tare allowance. 

The usual tare in the country market is two pounds 
on bulls, a pound to a pound and a half on buffs and 
heavy hides, a pound on extremes and a pound to a 
pound and a half a bundle on calf and kip skins. There 
is no tare on horsehides or hogskins, these being sold 
by the piece. 

Southern Hides and Cattle Ticks. 

Cattle in the southern states of America are af- 
flicted with cattle ticks, which fasten upon the hide of 
the animal and subsist upon its blood. The ticks make 
small holes in the hides, which cause the leather to 
appear peppered with black marks. It is for this rea- 
son, principally, that tanners are averse to using south- 
ern hides in the native varieties. Southern hides are 
selected for weights the same as in the Chicago coun- 
try hide market, but all lots are sold flat as to price 
of numbers one and two hides. Their value varies as 
to the section from which they originate, also as to 
the quality of the flaying and condition of deliveries. 
These hides originate principally in the territory 
bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, being of 
the least value in the southeastern portion of the 
United States. Southern hides from the northern sec- 
tions, along the Ohio River, are the most valuable, as 
they are less affected by ticks. 

The North American fever tick ("margaropus annu- 
latus say") is the transmitter of splenetic or Texas cattle 


fever. It is estimated that this pest causes a direct loss 
of $40,000,000 a year in the United States. The indirect 
loss no one can compute. Two peculiarities of this 
tick should render its control comparatively easy. It 
is practically restricted to cattle as a host, and it does 
not fall to the ground for the purpose of moulting. 
Its failure to exist on other hosts renders it practical 
to free areas of infestation in a comparatively short 
time by the simple device of keeping the cattle out. 
Likewise the dipping or greasing of cattle is a certain 
and economical method of eradication. The agricul- 
tural department of the United States government is 
making efforts to instruct farmers, and commendable 
progress has been made. 


Grubbing Dates on Hides. 

The grubbing privilege on American packer hides 
commences November 1 on Texas steers and branded 
cows; December 1, on Colorado steers, and January 
1 on all other grades of packer hides. Grubbing ceases 
on May 31 on all selections. 

Price Reductions on Kosher Hides. 

All kosher-killed hides sell at y^z under the price 
paid for stuck-throat stock, when included with regular 
lots, with the exception of heavy cows, which go out 
at y 2 c reduction in the packer market. When moved 
alone, they are sold at value. Country kosher hides 
generally go out at 25c allowance on each cut-throat 
hide, when so stipulated in the contract. No reduc- 
tion on packer kosher bulls. 

Measurements of Spready Hides. 

Spready hides are measured across the shoulders just 
behind the brisket. Spready native steers measure six 


feet six inches; kosher, spready native steers, six feet 
eight inches; spready cows, six feet four inches; 
spready country cows as low as six feet two inches; 
spready bulls, six feet. 

Hide Selections for Various Leathers. 

Sole leather can be made from all weights of hides, 
according to weight of leather desired ; usually made 
from branded hides, although native cows and steers 
are used when prices are right, usually in the grubby 
season. Harness leather is usually made from native 
cows and steers with some butt-branded steers and 
light bulls utilized occasionally. Upper leather is 
usually made from light hides under fifty pounds. 
Kip and calf skins are tanned whole, while heavier 
weights are split into sides. Patent leather is gen- 
erally made from extreme light hides of clear grain. 
Lace leather is made from extreme light hides. Fancy, 
strap and bag leathers require cow hides, which are 
split into various thicknesses and weights. Leather 
belting is usually made from native steers, the butts 
only being used for high-grade belts. Furniture and 
carriage leather, from spready hides. 

Rules on Tare. 

Sweep tare requires the sweeping of ten hides, the 
difference in the before and after sweeping weights 
being taken as the tare on the car in question. For 
instance, ten hides before shipping weigh 680 pounds 
and after sweeping 660 pounds; the difference, 20 
pounds, is the tare allowance; 20 pounds on ten hides, 
or two pounds a bundle. More usually the tare al- 
lowance is agreed upon between buyer and seller when 
hides are being taken up, when the actual condition of 
the hides can be observed. 

Grubs in Hides. 

Grubs or warbles which infest American hides 
throughout the winter cause great damage. This is 


largely due to erroneous impressions of cattle men re- 
garding- the operations of the flys and grubs. The fly 
(Hypoderma Lineta, called in England Hypoderma 
Bo vis) attaches its eggs by a sticky substance to the 
hair on the flanks and heels of the cattle. The animal 
licks the eggs off and many of them are swallowed. 
The heat of the body hatches the eggs. The resulting 
grub works its way through the animal tissues slowly, 
usually breaking through the weasand. By early win- 
ter the grub is underneath the hide at the middle of 
the back and ready to emerge in the spring, at which 
time they emerge. Cattle and hide men erroneously 
continue under the impressions that the fly deposits its 
egg in the hide of the animal at the center of the back 
and that the larvae lie dormant until spring. Hide 
men will agree that when the grubs first show in the 
hides in early winter, they are noticeable, but that it 
is impossible to punch the hole through with the 
skewer, showing that the grub works its way to the 
hide from the inside of the animal. 

The flies infest the pastures in dry, warm weather. 
They create no damage in shaded pastures or those 
with abundant water for the cattle to wade and lie in. 
Damp, cool summers are fatal to these flies. In dry 
seasons their destruction is extremely difficult, as it is 
only in the larval stage that they can be killed. In the 
early spring, when the grubs are ready to emerge, they 
can be extracted by a slight pressure with the thumbs 
and then killed in a poison solution. In other coun- 
tries, where these pests are much more prevalent, this 
subject is receiving serious consideration from trade 
organizations and by the respective governments. 

Small Country Packer Hides. 

The United States Government has instituted a rig- 
orous system of inspection and control of the meat 
packing industry. This has resulted in numerous 
small packing plants springing up throughout the 
many states of the Union where formerly severe com- 


petition prohibited their establishment. These small 
plants produce hides of good pattern, well taken off 
and cured. Many of these small packers take the hides 
off as carefully as the more prominent killers, and 
the prices they realize are generally well within the 
range of the big packer hides, considering that not as 
many sorts, selections and privileges are given. The 
take-off and cure of some of the smaller packers can be 
improved upon. One of the flagrant errors is in not 
splitting the ears of the hides. When the ears are not 
split, humps are made in the packs and the salt does 
not adhere to these spots. Hides in such packs, if left 
any length of time are liable to show hair-slipped spots. 
The remedy is so simple and so little extra labor is 
required, that it must be from lack of knowledge that 
the practice is continued. One cut through the center 
of the cartilage of the ear is sufficient to make it lie 
reasonably flat, while two cuts, judiciously made, will 
avoid all danger. Care should be taken in making the 
cuts to avoid damaging the hide surface of the neck 
with the blade of the knife. Another prevalent mis- 
take is leaving the duclaws on the shanks. One cut 
when the feet and legs are being skinned is sufficient 
to remove a duclaw, and aside from the damage to the 
knife edge, which can be remedied with a few rubs on 
the steel, nothing is lost by removing them. The eight 
duclaws on each bullock will not weigh a quarter of a 
pound, so there is no money to be gained by leaving 
them on. The tanners prefer hides with ears split and 
duclaws off. Killers who perform these inexpensive 
favors have a strong talking point when submitting 
their offerings to buyers. See cut on page 73. 

Suggested Reforms in the Hide Trade. 

The tanners of the United States through their na- 
tional associations have endeavored to rectify the 
fixed reduction on the second grade of hides. It is the 
custom in Europe to purchase all second grade hides 
at a percentage reduction, the fixed rule being ten 


per cent less than the rate paid for number one hides. 
Thus if number one hides bring fifteen cents a pound, 
the seconds are included at a cent and a half less or 
thirteen and one-half cents a pound. In America it 
has been the custom to include all second grade hides 
at one cent a pound reduction. This was inaugurated 
many years ago when hides were selling at under ten 
cents a pound. Within recent years, however, since 
the scarcity of cattle has become a factor in the tan- 
ning industry the cent differential on seconds is de- 
clared to be out of line with the foreign markets, where 
it is possible to obtain a percentage discount on all 
second grade hides. American hides, within recent 
years, have averaged between eleven and fifteen cents 
a pound, in some instances certain selections touching 
twenty cents a pound. Tanners are agitating to obtain 
some concession in this matter. 

Prominent packers and hide dealers threaten to in- 
augurate the old "B" selection on hides should tan- 
ners insist upon a percentage basis for seconds In 
this event almost every second grade packer hide 
would be rut into the "B" class, as they are gen- 
erally only damaged on one side. Thus if seconds 
go at a ten per cent reduction the "B" selection would 
be sold at a five per cent discount. To illustrate: with 
the first grade of hides at fifteen cents a pound, the 
"B" grade would bring fourteen and a quarter cents 
a pound and the seconds thirteen and a half cents a 
pound. Accepting this view of the case tanners would 
pay slightly more for damaged hides than under the 
present system of purchasing. 

Arbitrary Grubbing Dates. 

Tanners are endeavoring to regulate the grubbing 
periods. The pronounced scarcity of cattle in propor- 
tion to the per capita consumption of leather within 
recent years has changed conditions in the raw mate- 
rial markets. Formerly it was usual for prominent 
killers to enter the winter season with practically all 


of the previous winter's hides unsold. Tanners, under 
these conditions, were enabled to purchase the hides of 
poor quality strictly on their merits, according to per- 
centage of grubs in the months on which no grubbing 
was allowed and to insist upon large credits for ma- 
nure and tare. Packers, within recent years, owing to 
the scarcity of hides have kept closely sold up and 
ahead on their slaughter. Tanners were forced to 
take grubby hides on which no grubbing was allowed 
at full prices. To rectify this, through their associa- 
tions they have endeavored to institute reforms. Texas 
steers and branded cows are grubbed from November 
i, Colorado steers from December i, and all other se- 
lections but bulls from January i. In all cases the 
privilege ceases on the first of June. Grubs noticed 
early in the Southern markets, due to warm weather 
early in the year, leave much sooner than in the North- 
ern sections. Northern hides do not show grubby as 
early as Southern stock and the pests damage the 
hides for at least a month later than in the Texas se- 
lection. Tanners' desires in the regulation of this evil 
are varied. Some hold that the grubbing dates should 
be graduated as to the killing points, the same dates to 
remain in force throughout the middle sections of the 
United States. Others insist that the period of grub- 
bing should be lengthened two months, one month be- 
fore and one month after the present dates. Others 
insist that hides should be grubbed every month in the 
year, the same as in country hides, one grub to con- 
stitute a second grade. Under the present system 
twenty hides from every car taken up and shipped are 
scrutinized. This was instituted in the interest of 
speed and economy, as the clear hide is damaged with 
even one grub. Every hide in the twenty selected for 
grubbing in which five grubs are found is a second 
and from the number found the percentage of dam- 
aged hides in the car in question is ascertained. Thus 
if ten hides have five grubs in them, fifty per cent of 
the hides, or half the billing weight, is figured at a 


cent a pound less. Killers insist that grubby hides 
are on the order of the "B" grade, as the grubs are 
only found in the center of the back and as the hide 
is split the damage is greatly minimized. The grub- 
bing dates and percentage reduction on seconds prom- 
ised to be a long drawn out affair, with the killers in 
a position to insist upon the retention of the present 
rules from the fact that cattle are not being killed in 
sufficient quantities to keep pace with the demands for 

The Brokerage System. 

Hides are a cash commodity and are in such con- 
dition that claims growing out of condition, selection, 
delivery, etc., are extremely hard to adjudicate. Their 
value is so great that it is expedient for purchasers 
to use every precaution against loss. Tanners whose 
business is not large enough to employ resident repre- 
sentatives at the hide centers, find it advantageous 
to buy raw material through reliable brokers. The 
larger tanning concerns maintain offices and employ 
experts to watch market conditions and supply the 
tanneries with stock. Smaller tanners, who endeavor 
to purchase advantageously, employ brokers. Some 
of the smaller tanners think it profitable to purchase 
direct from the slaughterers, and the killers endeavor 
to encourage this class of buying. 

The brokerage system is undoubtedly profitable to 
tanners, as is evidenced by the volume of sales made 
under the system. Hide brokers are traders thor- 
oughly familiar with the killers and the market. 
Weekly market letters to clients contain reviews of 
recent trading, recount the offerings of the various 
packers and forecast the probable trend of the market. 
Close association with buyers and sellers and daily 
activity in the market make the broker an expert. 
Clients place their orders with him and are notified 
of their acceptance. 

The closing dates of the various packs purchased 
are ascertained, and when they have lain in salt a 


sufficient length of time, are taken up. The broker 
employs an inspector in this department, as high- 
priced hides with proper delivery are generally cheap. 
The broker's receiver sees that the proper classes of 
hides are given, all salt swept off, tag ends trimmed, 
firsts and seconds properly rolled and tied, and an 
equitable grubbing and tare allowance given. Item- 
ized weights of every truckload of hides are taken 
and the car is properly sealed, routed and billed. The 
smaller tanner who deals direct with the killers un- 
doubtedly gets good service, but it would seem from 
the number of firms doing a brokerage business in 
hides that their limited remuneration is saved many 
times over to tanners who deal with them. 

Packer Hide Cellar Test. 

Observations covering a period of years at the older 
points of slaughter in the middle West and on the 
Missouri River have furnished the following compila- 
tion of figures, which is self-explanatory. In recent 
years a lighter weight class of cattle is being killed, 
which would make a slight difference in the green and 
cured weights. The appended figures were compiled 
on all classes and grades of hides, except bulls, both 
native and branded. 

Average weight green, 71 lbs. 

Average weight cured, 60 lbs. 

Space required in pack, 1.33 cu. ft. 

Weight per cu. ft. cured, including salt, 72 lbs. 

Average height of pack, y/ 2 ft. 

Salt used in curing, 38 lbs. 

Time required to cure, 22 days. 

Average shrink, 16 per cent. 

Average cost of handling, green, 4c. 

Average cost of handling, cured, 4c. 

Building Shingled Packs. 

In certain of the Eastern hide markets in former 
years it was the custom of some of the hide salters to 



build what were called shingled packs. The hides 
were lapped over one another like wooden shingles are 
laid. Salt was first scattered on the floor selected for 
the pack and one hide was spread hair side down and 
salted with regular salt. Then another hide was placed 
on top of this one. About three-quarters of the hide 
underneath was covered, subsequent hides being placed 
alternately on each side of the pile, until the pack could 
be built no higher. The pack when finished resembled 
a hummock, the outside edges of the hides slanting- 
down much in the same manner as sheepskins are salt- 
ed in piles. Fine salt was usually used, as rock salt in 
the coarser grades would not stick on the sloping sides 
of the pile. The hides purged quickly, as there were 
no retaining edges to hold pickle and were of a nice 
bright color. Hides salted in this manner were of so 
much better quality than ordinary packed stock that 
a oreat premium had to be paid for them and tannery 
results justified the added first cost. This manner 01 
salting has become obsolete in recent years, as too 
much°room was required to build the packs and not 
enough killers would build packs in this manner to 
warrant tanners specializing in this class of raw ma- 
terial. Delivery of these hides was much the same as 
at present, except that the tare allowance was much 

Frozen Hides. 

Tn the northern sections of the United States and 
all of Canada, during the winter months, frozen hides 
are produced in large numbers because of the extreme 
cold. Most of the country slaughtering establish- 
ments of the small butchers are unheated and the 
workmen who kill and skin the cattle devote most 
of the time to the care of the beef while it is warm. 
The hides, therefore, receive but scant attention until 
the more 'important work is completed. When the 
butchers turn to the hides, the cold has already acted 
upon them and some are frozen and others nearly so. 
Freezing does not injure a hide. The butchers roll 


them in bundles and hold them until the arrival of 
the hide buyers. Frozen hides usually do not have 
any salt put on them, although some butchers do 
place some in the bundles. The salt does not have 
time to take action before the hide becomes frozen. 
Unscrupulous butchers sometimes place feet, bricks, 
stones or other refuse within the bundles, knowing 
that the hides cannot be examined until thawed out, 
when there is less chance that the deception will be 
discovered, because of their mixture with other lots 
of frozen hides. 

The thawing of frozen hides is accomplished by 
placing them close to a stove, but care must be taken 
that they are not placed too close to the fire, as they 
will scorch and the burned part will not tan. Some 
of the larger Chicago hide dealers have specially-con- 
structed rooms in which the frozen hides are placed, 
no hide touching another, and steam run through coils 
to raise the temperature of the room. The hides are 
opened and turned as the thrawing proceeds. After 
thawing, the hides return to the green state, are placed 
in packs to cure and are handled the same as other 
country hides. 

In collecting these frozen hides from the country 
butchers, scale weights are taken and an allowance 
made for shrinkage. The allowance for this purpose 
is not fixed by any agreed rule, each buyer making the 
best terms possible. Green hides during the winter 
months usually shrink about an average of 12 per 
cent. An allowance of 12 per cent would, therefore, 
not be out of line, but it is seldom that better than 
4 to 8 per cent is granted by the butchers when sell- 
ing the hides. 


Several conditions are responsible for the difference 
in quality of summer and winter horsehides. Sum- 
mer lots contain a great number of hides taken from 
animals which have died from exhaustion. Usually 
they are not skinned promptly and lie in the sun 


sometimes several days before being attended to. De- 
composition is going on all the time. The short hair 
does not afford protection and dragged spots are 
often noticeable. A summer horsehide is not as thick 
or as tough as a winter one. Winter hides result 
largely from accidental deaths, the cities furnishing 
most of the hides in this season of the year. In con- 
sequence, they are more frequently from large, healthy 
animals. Slippery pavements cause the most of these 
accidental deaths. The horses being in their prime 
the hides are full of life, so to speak, and similar in 
quality to the hides of cattle taken off in the slaughter- 
ing plants. Winter horse hides have a greater thick- 
ness than the summer ones and are much tougher. 
Horses which die in the winter or have to be killed 
due to serious accidents, do not suffer through de- 
composition, owing to the cold retarding this condi- 
tion. Winter and summer hides alike are bought by 
the piece, but buyers pay as much as 50 cents more for 
winter hides than summer ones. 

Pulling and Pickling Sheepskins. 

When the sheep and lambskins are taken off the ani- 
mals by the killers, they are dropped down into a cool 
cellar and spread out on the floor and allowed to lie 
there several hours to permit the animal heat in the 
skins to escape. After this leaching process is com- 
pleted, the skins are placed in piles and salted. One 
skin is placed on the bare floor and salted with fine 
salt, and others are placed on top, each being salted 
separately. The number of skins placed in these piles 
is regulated largely by the seasons. In winter the 
piles may contain as many as twenty-five to thirty- 
five skins, while in the summer season, ten to fifteen 
skins are salted in each pile. Where the cellars are 
cooled artificially, the number of skins in each pile 
remains about the same the year round, occasional 
inspection being required so that signs of heating may 
be detected. 


After lying in the salt for a week or so, the skins 
are fully cured and are then ready to be taken out 
and shipped to pulleries. During- the summer season 
great care must be exercised in the selection of cars, 
if shipment is likely to be delayed in transit, or if the 
destination is far away. Sheepskins with the wool 
on heat rapidly, and to avoid this, some pullers insist 
upon cattle cars being used during the warm weather. 
Others require the cars to be refrigerators and iced, 
while others are content with having the side and end 
doors slightly open and cleated. Some of the large 
American meat packers have their own pulling es- 
tablishments and do not perform the salting operation, 
the skins being taken from the leaching floor direct to 
the pullery in the green state to be further treated. 

Salted skins when ready to be treated for pulling 
are placed in vats and barrels containing fresh water. 
They are allowed to remain in the fresh water from 
twelve to twenty-four hours in order to remove the 
salt. When they have become freshened, they are 
ready to be put through the depilatory process. Green 
skins direct from the leaching floors of the packing 
houses are also ready for the depilatory. 

The freshened skins and the green skins are painted 
on the flesh side with a solution of sulphide of so- 
dium. This solution loosens the wool. When the de- 
pilatory has been painted on the skins, the flesh side 
is folded together, either lengthwise or crosswise, 
and placed in rows and piles to allow the depilatory 
to take hold on the wool and release it. Other 
methods are followed. Skins are sometimes hung 
up in the hot room overnight, which causes the skins 
to heat, allowing the wool to be slipped from the slat. 
This is termed sweating. When painted skins have 
been lying in the piles for a sufficient length of time, 
from twelve to twenty-four hours, the wool is re- 
moved by stripping it over a beam with special hand 

The wool from the skins is then dried and sorted 


into the various grades and selections, sacked, and is 
then ready for sale and shipment to the woolen mills. 
The skins, or slats as they are termed in America, are 
placed in a paddle-wheel vat to remove the depilatory, 
limes being used for this purpose. Some pullers ad- 
vocate immersion in the paddle-wheel vat for about 
twenty-four hours, the skins then being placed in 
still-liming vats, where they are allowed to soak from 
five to seven days, which will effectually offset the 
action of the sulphide of sodium. Other pullers only 
put the slats in the still limes, without using the pad- 
dle wheel, for a day, but the former process is con- 
sidered to be the better method. 

After the slats have been returned to the fresh 
state, they are put through the beam house to be 
fleshed. They are then placed in pickle vats to cure. 
The pickle is made of a strong brine solution. After 
being fully cured they are then placed in barrels and 
the coopered barrels rilled with a fresh pickle. Tn this 
condition they are shipped to sheepskin tanners, who 
have to return them to the fresh state before they can 
be tanned. Pickled skins will keep indefinitely with- 
out sustaining any injury from decomposition. 

Before the cattle feet are skinned, the dewclaws should be cut 
off, the dotted lines in the accompanying diagram being fully 
explanatory. Dewclaws cannot be made into leather and their 
presence on the hides often causes humps in the packs on which 
the salt will not lie, thereby causing hairslips. 

Black Hides. 

Black hides are sorted out in either the country or 
packer market. The winter season is the period when 
these hides are the most desirable, as they are wanted 



for robes and coats, for which purpose a long-haired 
hide is desired. This selection sells, flat for number 
one and two hides, practically all being grubby. They 
are taken, cows and steers together, over 35 pounds, 
although some coat tanners insist upon a heavier 
weight average. 


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Milch Cows. 


By HENRY J. WASHBURN, U. S. Bureau of Animal 


Nature and History of the Disease. 

Anthrax may be defined as an infection due to spe- 
cific bacilli which may attack every species of do- 
mestic mammal, and for this reason may become one 
of the greatest scourges of animal life. Man is by no 
means immune, although, fortunately, the malady as 
it appears in the human subject is usually less acute 
than the form seen in cattle and sheep. This is prob- 
ably due to the fact that the lesions in man occur most 
frequently from infection of the surface of the hands or 
feet, while cattle and sheep are more likely to swallow 
the infectious germs with their food, thus giving the 
germs immediate entrance into the animal system, 
where they can exert their most harmful influence 
without check or control. 

Historians record an outbreak of anthrax in the 
south of Europe in 1613 which started with the cattle 
and spread from them to the populace, ultimately be- 
coming a veritable scourge and causing the death of 
more than 60,000 people. From this it is very evident 
that the disease was far more virulent and far more in- 
clined to attack all species of mammals during these 
earlier centuries than it is at the present day. It is 
even recorded that many deer and other varieties of 
game animals were destroyed during these early pe- 

At the present time cattle md sheep are the chief 
sufferers, and the outbreaks appear to be limited to 


animals that run upon low, moist lands of a more or 
less mucky character. In certain regions of the coun- 
try where the land is mainly hilly, it has been found 
that pastures exist in which there are wet, low places, 
and that anthrax appears every season among the cat- 
tle of these farms if they are allowed to pasture upon 
these damp areas, but when good fences are built 
around them and the stock is kept upon the dry por- 
tions of the pasture the disease quickly disappears. 
Should the fence become broken down, allowing cattle 
to invade the infected area at certain seasons of the 
year, they are very likely to contract anthrax. In fact, 
certain plats of ground of this description have been 
found to retain the germs of anthrax for several years, 
a circumstance which has led many investigators to 
declare that the anthrax organism has the capability of 
growing from year to year without any artificial aid or 
cultivation, if only planted upon suitable soil; that it 
will sprout and grow, producing the plant and later the 
seed, thus providing a perpetual source of infection for 
the stock that may chance to be allowed to linger on 
this area of growing anthrax plants. 

Persistency of Infection. 

Because of the remarkable . tenacity with which 
certain plots of ground retained their infection, Pas- 
teur in 1880 reached the conclusion that the carcasses 
of animals dying from anthrax, even though deeply 
buried, retained their many infectious organisms and 
supplied them with such an amount of nutriment that 
they continued to multiply for years, and in this way 
produced an immense underground supply of virulent 
anthrax organisms. He decided further that these liv- 
ing infectious germs might be brought to the surface at 
any time through the agency of earthworms, and that, 
having reached the surface, they offered a very serious 
menace to any live stock that might wander into that 
vicinity. These suggestions were very generally ac- 
cepted by the medical fraternity and for some years 


were taught as illustrative of the manner in which an- 
thrax lurks in certain localities for years at a time ; but 
later investigations by Kitasato have shown that spore 
formation by anthrax bacilli is very incomplete at a 
depth of 18 to 20 inches below the surface of the 
ground, and at even greater depths must be greatly 
suppressed by the presence of the products of decom- 
position. Koch has further stated that earthworms are 
incapable of taking up anthrax spores and bringing 
them to the surface. 

Nevertheless, the fact remains that certain circum- 
scribed areas of ground remain dangerous to stock 
from year to year. It is still an unsettled question 
whether the anthrax germs grow and multiply each 
season upon infected lands when conditions of mois- 
ture and warmth become favorable or whether the 
ground becomes infected at some certain time with 
bacilli, from which spores develop, which remain near 
the surface of the ground for years or until taken up by 
some susceptible animal. 

Careful experiments have proven that anthrax 
bacilli flourish and retain their virulent properties in 
stagnant water for at least twelve months, and certain 
authorities claim to have observed them multiplying 
with no other nourishment than that afforded them by 
muddy water. 

A look at some of the most seriously infected lo- 
calities in this country will help us to understand the 
conditions which tend to perpetuate the infection. 
Upon the rice plantations of the South, where the fields 
are annually submerged to favor the starting of the rice 
plants, many of the animals used in the cultivation of 
the crops contract anthrax and die as a result if driven 
over the infected lands after the water has subsided 
and a few days of hot weather have intervened. 

Danger in Tannery Effluent. 

Where tanneries are located upon or near to streams 
there is great danger that anthrax will be brought to 


them upon hides and then be scattered over the low 
lands lying downstream from the point where the tan- 
ning process is carried on. This state of affairs exists 
especially near to those tanneries which work upon 
goat or sheep pelts from foreign countries. Infection 
in the form of spores adheres to these hides so per- 
sistently that ordinary fumigation fails to destroy it, 
and repeated outbreaks of the disease occur wherever 
such skins are unpacked and manufactured into leath- 
er. In making mention of this danger Professor Law 
writes : 

"Since 1892 anthrax has prevailed along the banks 
of the Delaware River for a distance of 40 miles in 
New Jersey and Delaware, destroying from 70 to 80 
per cent of the farm stock. The great morocco indus- 
try on this river draws infected hides from India, 
China, Russia, Africa, and South America, and the 
spores are carried and distributed by the hides." 

Delafond studied the vitality of anthrax bacilli in 
i860. He placed some blood from a sheep dead of 
anthrax in a glass container to which free access of air 
was granted. This was kept in a cool place at a tem- 
perature ranging variously from 45 degrees to 60 de- 
grees F. (10 degrees to 15 degrees C). When exam- 
ined at the end of the fourth day it was found that the 
length of the filaments was increased, but that their di- 
ameter had remained unchanged. After eight to ten 
days their length was four or five times as great as 
when first brought under observation, thus proving 
that a veritable growth of the bacillus had taken place 
outside of the animal body and without the presence of 
animal heat. 

In a letter from China to the London Lancet we 

"The disease which has been destroying cattle 
throughout this district continues its ravages, though 
with diminished virulence, probably because there is 
now a scarcity of susceptible cattle. The mortality has 
varied from 50 to 75 per cent of the infected animals. 


To determine the extent of the disease I made inquiry 
as to the number of hides exported during the first 
three months of this year. They say that more than 
260,000 left Peking - , and that half a million would not 
be too high an estimate for the whole district. As no 
cattle are being slaughtered, this represents, approx- 
imately, the loss of cattle from the plague. 

"The foreign firms that export hides, wool, bris- 
tles ,and hair are in the hands of Chinese middlemen 
who roam about the interior buying here and there 
from the agricultural classes. I have been over some 
of the factories in Tientsin and have observed the steps 
they take to clean the stuff before its export. Bristles 
and hair are thoroughly well boiled in soda solution, 
wool is roughly carded and shaken free of as much 
dust as possible by machinery, and hides are sorted 
out and packed with naphthaline. The exporters claim 
that any further disinfection than is now given would 
spoil their goods and increase their expenses. 

"The real difficulty does not lie with the Bacillus an- 
thracis but with its spores, whose natural resistance 
is increased by their being embedded in the grease and 
dirt of the material while it is being dealt with in 
wholesale bulk in China. There can be little doubt 
that the passage home through the Indian Ocean and 
the Red Sea in the warm hold of a ship is all-conducive 
to their propagation and preservation, so that when 
the time comes for bristles and hair being carded and 
separated out by workers at home these spores are 
liberated in an active condition, ready for human in- 
fection to a much greater extent than is the case in 

Aside from the danger of direct infection to ani- 
mals pasturing on infected areas, there exists the add- 
ed danger of inoculation through the agency of hay 
or other crops that have been grown upon infected 
areas of land. The process of drying and curing the 
hay or forage does not lessen this danger, for drying 
favors the development of spores, and these, mingling 


with the dust and fragments of the dried forage, may 
be taken up by the wind and blown about, or may 
cause serious damage' simply by being eaten by sus- 
ceptible animals. 

Forms of the Disease. 

The disease may appear in one of three forms — 
apoplectic, acute, or subacute. 

The apoplectic form is most frequently seen at- 
tacking cattle or sheep at the beginning of an outbreak 
before the animals of the vicinity have developed any 
degree of natural immunity to the infection. Here the 
animals present symptoms of cerebral apoplexy. They 
reel and fall, bloody liquid flows from the body open- 
ings, and death soon follows. If the body is opened 
and search is made for evidence of disease, it may be 
quite impossible to detect any definite lesions or any 
change in the tissues. 

The acute form of the disease develops more slow- 
ly, but becomes well established in- twelve to twenty- 
four hours after the premonitory symptoms are no- 
ticed. In these cases the fever is intense (104 degrees 
to 107 degrees F.). The animal is greatly prostrated. 
Cerebral congestion causes excitement, which is fol- 
lowed by drowsiness and staggering gait. There is fre- 
quent passage of bloody urine, followed by convul- 
sions and death. In this type of the disease, as well as 
in the apoplectic form, post-mortem examination of 
the carcass may fail to reveal any definite lesions. 

The third form of anthrax, the subacute, is the 
most common. The symptoms are like those of the 
acute form except that they are of slower development. 
Instead of becoming established in twelve to twenty- 
four hours, one to seven days may be required. The 
fever is very high. Serious colics are often present. 
Local anthrax tumors appear externally, first near the 
shoulders, neck, and head, and are usually due to local 
injury or bruising, which gives rise to a collection of 
bacilli within the blood vessels of the part, whose re- 


suiting inflammation gives rise to the swellings or car- 
buncles. These tumors are at first hard and circum- 
scribed, but later become cold, insensible, diffuse and 
fluctuating. An examination of the carcass of an ani- 
mal dead of anthrax of the subacute form will prob- 
ably show many lesions or alterations. Hemorrhages 
may be found in almost all parts of the body. Serous 
infiltrations may be present beneath mucous mem- 
branes and skin. There will be swelling of the spleen, 
the liver, and the kidneys, and the blood will be of a 
muddy or tarry appearance and incoagulable. The 
cavities of the body contain more or less bloody effu- 
sion, and the lymphatic glands are swollen and con- 
tain small hemorrhages. The red blood cells have be- 
come broken down in large numbers and the serum 
of the blood has been markedly reddened. The walls 
of the intestines may appear perfectly normal, but 
hemorrhages are frequently seen, especially in the 
walls of the duodenum. 

The subacute form is the one most commonly met, 
and it is the only form which responds favorably to 
treatment. Death ensues so quickly in the other two 
forms that attempts at treatment are of but little use. 

Isolated or sporadic cases are usually of the sub- 
acute form, and are frequently limited to the forma- 
tion of a tumor or carbuncle at the point of the body 
at which the infective germs first gained their entrance. 

The Anthrax Bacillus. 

The anthrax bacillus is a straight rod with ends 
slightly concave. It can not grow without the presence 
of air, but will grow in temperatures ranging from 
55 degrees to 106 degrees F. It is not capable of mo- 
tion. It measures 4 to 6 u in length and about iu in 
breadth. The bacilli multiply by fission, or dividing 
into two, or they may multiply much as corn does by 
the formation of seeds or spores, which sprout and pro- 
duce a new anthrax plant when placed under suitable 
conditions. This simile may be carried further, for. 


like a tender blade of corn, the anthrax plant or bacil- 
lus may be destroyed very easily by the application of 
heat or cold, but the seed or spore will resist consider- 
able heat and is unaffected by freezing, still retaining 
its virulence in spite of being subjected to either tem- 

When cultivated artificially and grown in the 
laboratory, a luxuriant growth may be obtained by 
planting upon any of the culture media commonly used 
for bacterial growth. The organisms grow rapidly and 
produce dense, thick clumps on potato, gelatin, agar, 
or other solid material. They grow with equal readi- 
ness in fluid media such as beef broth, milk, etc., but 
will not produce spores while growing in media of 
this character, as spores can not develop except in the 
presence of free air or oxygen. 

Methods of Combating Infectious Diseases. 

Whenever attempts are made to control or sup- 
press an infectious disease a thorough study of its 
character must be made, as the measures to be applied 
will very largely depend upon the results of such in- 
vestigation. Take foot-and-mouth disease, for in- 
stance. This has become so firmly established in the 
flocks and herds of certain European countries, espe- 
cially in th esoutheastern portion, that it is considered 
almost an endemic, and while the stock owners are 
constantly trying to suppress the disease, they never 
go at it with the fixed purpose of obtaining its com- 
plete eradication. But in this country the circum- 
stances are very different. Here the outbreaks have 
only occurred after long intervals, and in every in- 
stance, save one, have been traceable to some definite 
source. The number of animals attacked in each out- 
break has been comparatively small. Hence, in view 
of the rapid transmission of the infection, not alone 
by sick animals, but by men, dogs, or chickens that 
may chance to come in contact with infected cattle or 
stables, any dallying, experimental measures must not 


be considered for a moment; and, taking this view of 
the matter, the immediate slaughter of all infected and 
exposed susceptible animals has been insisted upon 
each time that the disease has appeared within the bor- 
ders of this country. 

Anthrax and Texas Fever. 

How very different is the method of dealing with 
Texas fever. But these differences of treatment are- 
only such as are demanded by the differences in the 
characters of the two infections. Texas fever is known 
to be dependent for its origin upon the bite of an in- 
fected cattle tick, by means of which the minute para- 
site which destroys the blood cells of its victims gains 
entrance to the circulatory system, and multiplying 
rapidly breaks down so many blood corpuscles that fa- 
tal fever quickly results. To obviate this disease, all 
that is necessary is to keep the cattle free from con- 
tact with infectious ticks or to immunize them by the 
careful application of blood or ticks under proper pre- 
cautions. Present endeavors of the Bureau of Animal 
Industry toward the suppression of Texas fever are 
being extended along these very lines. By establish- 
ing and maintaining the Texas fever quarantine line, it 
is preventing southern cattle from bringing dangerous 
ticks into northern pastures where their presence 
would quickly act as a scourge. The Bureau is also 
doing an immense amount of work in removing all in- 
fectious ticks from certain regions of the South, not 
with a view to saving the cattle of these regions from 
death from Texas fever, because they have become 
immune to that disease, but for the purpose of making 
these cattle more valuable than thev are at present, as 
they may be given free bills of health for shipment to 
northern points and northern markets just as soon as it 
can be shown that they originate in tick-free districts. 

There are a number of serious contagious dis- 
eases which terminate fatally in almost every case of 
attack. For these no treatment is attempted, but pre- 


ventive measures may be applied with the greatest as- 
surance that further spread may be stopped. Such is 
rabies. Once the disease develops, no known treat- 
ment will avail to save the patient's life; but if inocu- 
lative treatment is applied soon after the victim is bit- 
ten by the rabid dog the chances for recovery are ex- 

In studies of the various infectious diseases it has 
been found that one of the most desirable means of 
preventing their extension is to furnish the susceptible 
and exposed animals with artificial immunity. This is 
the case with tuberculosis, blackleg, anthrax, rabies, 
hog cholera, Texas fever and the like. Many animals 
prove to be naturally immune to these diseases, while 
others must be made immune by inoculation with suit- 
ably prepared materials before they are able success- 
fully to withstand attacks from the specific organisms 
which cause the several maladies. 

Educated investigators the world over have expended 
a vast amount of effort and study in attempts to 
discover and perfect the most effective and at the 
same time the most practicable means of immunizing 
animals against the more destructive of the infectious 
diseases. Immense amounts of money have been ap- 
propriated for the advancement of these researches, 
both from governmental sources and from gifts of pri- 
vate wealth. The goal sought by these searchers along 
lines of agricultural interest is the discovery of some 
means by which immunity may be conveyed to a large 
number of animals readily and at slight expense. 

Vaccination as a Preventive. 

Satisfactory immunity is readily granted to cattle at 
the present time against the ravages of blackleg or symp- 
tomatic anthrax, through the injection beneath the skin 
of the susceptible animal of some material containing the 
living but weakened germ of the disease. The amount of 
this material is so graduated that it causes the prompt 
development of the very disease that is being guarded 


against, but only in a mild and comparatively harm- 
less degree. There is considerable elevation of tem- 
perature, and there may even be limited tumor forma- 
tion, but only in the rarest cases does this type of 
blackleg, that has been intentionally produced by in- 
oculation, progress so far that the animal is seriously 
injured. The value of artificially produced immunity 
in the struggle against this disease is shown by the 
fact that the losses of young cattle which reached from 
15 to 20 per cent in certain infected localities previous 
to the discovery of vaccine treatment, have been re- 
duced to one-half of 1 per cent at the present time 
where vaccines are used. 

It is at once apparent that hard and fast conclu- 
sions cannot be drawn favoring vaccination against 
anthrax from results obtained in the suppression of 
blackleg by the use of blackleg vaccine. But there are 
a sufficient number of points of similarity between the 
two diseases to justify considering the two together. 
They are so similar that for many years no distinction 
was made between the two maladies, but all cases were 
called anthrax. 

The successful vaccination of cattle against either 
of these two troubles must consist in giving the ani- 
mal that is to be safeguarded a sufficiently severe at- 
tack of the disease that is feared to provide the body 
tissues with such a degree of resistance that no germs 
can be taken into the system in fatal numbers and re- 
main to find lodgment and nurture there. After such 
vaccination the animal is safely protected and can go 
with perfect safety into fields that would have proven 
deadly before the vaccination was performed. 

Just how this immunity is obtained is still an open 
question, but it is very manifest that the attenuated or- 
ganism is able by its growth to affect the tissues (some 
say the animal cells, others the fluid tissues) in such a 
manner that virulent organisms of the variety present- 
ed in the vaccine cannot possibly thrive, and with- 


out the rapid multiplication of virulent organisms within 
the animal tissues there can be no disease. 

Blackleg vaccine is prepared from the affected 
muscle of an animal dead of that disease. Anthrax 
vaccine is produced by the cultivation in beef broth of 
pure cultures of anthrax bacilli, hence may be manu- 
factured in unlimited quantities without having re- 
course to any animal suffering from the disease. 

Pasteur's Experiments. 

Starting with a thrifty culture of anthrax bacilli 
growing in a flask of bouillon, Pasteur, in 1881, by a 
series of experiments found that subjecting ii to a 
temperature of 108.5 degrees F. for twelve days would 
so lower the virulence of the organisms that they would 
only exceptionally cause death when injected into rab- 
bits. Continuing the attenuation by subjecting the ba- 
cili to the same degree of heat for twelve days longer, or 
twenty-four days in all, he discovered that he had in his 
possession a living culture of anthrax bacilli that had lost 
its power for killing cattle, sheep, rabbits or guinea 
pigs, although still capable of killing white mice. This 
was the beginning of the practical preparation of an- 
thrax vaccine, for he soon found that cattle or sheep 
when inoculated with the culture of twenty-four days' 
attenuation would survive the treatment and would 
gain a very material power in resisting infection from 
inoculations with bacilli of a high degree of virulence. 
This power of resistance is needed to enable them to 
withstand the injection of the second and stronger 
vaccine, which, having been subjected to attenuating 
heat for only twelve days, is possessed of considerable 

In his early investigations he made experiments 
upon a flock of 50 sheep. Half of these were vaccinated 
with his attenuated culture of anthrax bacilli. Twelve 
days later they received an inoculation with stronger 
vaccine, and forty days after this the whole flock was 
inoculated with a virulent anthrax culture. Two days 


later the vaccinated animals were all sound, while the 
checks were all dead. 

Following this striking demonstration by Pasteur, 
60,000 sheep and 6,000 cattle were at once treated in 
France. The following year the same form of treat- 
ment was applied to 270,000 sheep and to 55,000 cattle. 
Since that time this method of vaccinating against an- 
thrax has found very general application in France 
whenever losses have occurred, making it evident that 
certain fields or pastures have become infected with 
anthrax bacilli. As a result, Nocard and Leclainche 
state that anthrax has disappeared from many sections 
in which it formerly decimated the live stock and that 
the medical doctors at the same time reported a disap- 
pearance of malignant pustules from among their hu- 
man patients. 


Soon after this method of immunization by the use 
of attenuated cultures had become suitably tested and 
perfected in France, steps were taken to supply vac- 
cinating material to other countries, and reports of its 
successful application were soon received from Russia. 
South America, Australia, and other lands. 

Other investigators, fearing to use the living anthrax 
bacillus, even though greatly attenuated, have turned 
their attention to the production of a serum that should 
possess immunizing powers equal to those of the at- 
tenuated organism. The immunity granted by serum 
inoculations becomes effective very quickly, but does 
not last long unless reinforced by the addition of 
virulent material at about the time that the serum is 
injected. At first the virulent material was injected 
a few days after the serum had been applied, but the 
latest recommendations are that they should be given 
simultaneously ; wherefore it is now customary to in- 
ject immunizing serum into one side of the animal's 
neck and virulent serum into the other side before re- 
leasing it. 


Very interesting facts have been disclosed through 
the efforts of various investigators to perfect sera for 
immunizing in outbreaks of anthrax. It is well known 
that a very small amount of virulent blood will serve 
to convey the disease from an anthrax carcass to a 
healthy animal. A fly can easily carry enough on his 
proboscis to kill a horse. It may safely be admitted 
that a single drop is sufficient to cause the death of 
a horse; yet Sobernheim has, by means of repeated 
injections, using cultures gradually increasing in viru- 
lence, produced such a high degree of immunity in 
a horse that it withstood the injection into its veins 
of 500 c. c. (about 17 fluid ounces, or more than a 
pint) of the most virulent anthrax culture obtainable. 
This is a good illustration of the word "immunity." 
It is something that this horse in question has re- 
ceived into his system through the several inoculations 
of sera that enables him to receive unharmed an in- 
jection of living anthrax fully ten thousand times as 
large as the amount that would have sufficed to kill 
him previous to his immunization. 

Another peculiarity discovered by investigators 
along these lines is that a culture of anthrax bacilli 
that has once been attentuated can then be cultivated 
indefinitely without necessarily causing any altera- 
tion in the degree of its virulence. If we let 100 
represent the virulence of an active, fresh culture, and 
10 the degrees of virulence in one that has been 
greatly attenuated, it has been repeatedly shown that 
one can cultivate the attenuated germs for many gen- 
erations without causing any observable alteration 
from this virulence rating of 10; yet it only requires 
the single passage of this material through a white 
mouse to restore its virulence at once to approxi- 
mately 100 

Anthrax in Mississippi Delta. 

In this country the Delta lands of the Mississippi 
Valley are most thoroughly permeated with anthrax 
infection. The losses through anthrax have there 


been enormous, due in great measure to the large 
number of valuable mules owned and worked upon 
the sugar plantations. Dr. W. H. Dalrymple has for 
years been engaged in fighting this plague in 
Louisiana, and he reports as follows on the results of 
preventive inoculation : 

"Perhaps the most convincing evidence of the bene- 
ficial effect of this method of prevention in Louisiana 
is the fact that those localities which suffered most 
from yearly, or at least periodic, epizootics of anthrax, 
before vaccination became so generally adopted, have 
experienced the past summer a wonderful degree of 
immunity from the disease which, I think, we must 
attribute to the fact that the use of the lymph is 
now almost general in these sections and that greater 
attention is being directed to the more careful dis- 
posal of the dead animal, our people more fully ap- 
preciating its being the chief source from which this 
most deadly disease is spread. 

"I believe we are gradually solving the anthrax 
problem in the Pelican State, and the progress we have 
already made is, I think, considerable and fairly satis- 
factory when we take into account the enormous and 
visionary ideas which prevailed up to ten or twelve 
years ago regarding the true nature of the disease and 
the most potent factors in causing its spread. 

"I question very much if ten years ago a single dose 
of preventive vaccine was used or an anthrax carcass 
destroyed as a sanitary precaution against the spread 
of the disease in our state. To-day there are probably 
40,000 or 50,000 doses of vaccine used, and carcasses 
are being much more carefully looked after, which I 
feel indicates some progress at least." 

The material which Doctor Dalrymple used so suc- 
cessfully and which called forth the above encourag- 
ing report was manufactured in accordance with Pas- 
teur's findings and consisted of a double inoculation 
with attenuated anthrax cultures. 


Successful Tests. 

In carrying out tests for the determination of the 
reliability of attenuated living cultures the Bureau 
of Animal Industry has succeeded in immunizing test 
animals to such a perfect degree that they were able 
to withstand subcutaneous injections of extremely 
virulent anthrax cultures. Cattle, sheep, goats, 
burros and a mule were subjected to these fortifying 
inoculations, and were later proven to be immune to 
anthrax. The first injection caused but slight dis- 
turbance of the health of any animal, and only slight 
elevation of temperature. The second injection re- 
sulted in somewhat higher temperatures, and in a 
few cases in transient indifference to feed. The final 
test of their immunity was made with a pure culture 
of anthrax bacilli of the highest degree of virulence 
obtainable. The application of this severe test soon 
resulted in very high temperatures and in rather gen- 
eral refusal of feed for a day or two; but this test 
far exceeded in severity any chance for infection that 
the animals could have incurred by pasturing over 
infected lands. Pure anthrax bacilli were forced into 
the tissues in great numbers, and the ultimate survival 
and full recovery of the animals after this severe 
treatment offers the best possible argument in favor 
of preventive inoculation in all cases in which animals 
are positively known to be exposed to contact with 
anthrax bacilli in infected stables or pastures. 

The material used in vaccinating against anthrax has 
many dangerous properties, since it contains living 
anthrax organisms; hence it should never be used 
except in regions in which the disease has already ap- 
peared, and it should be used only by qualified veteri- 
narians, as careless handling might result in the seri- 
ous extension of the very disease that it was desired 
to eradicate. Vaccines for this work should be ob- 
tained from reliable manufacturers, as the use of 
weakened or diluted material can only lead to disap- 
pointing results. 


The season of the year in which the vaccination is 
undertaken makes considerable difference in results, 
for it has been shown that there is a natural tendency 
toward the suppression of the disease in the infected 
plats of ground during the winter months. 

Other Preventive Measures. 

In future attempts to eradicate anthrax from in- 
fected districts preventive inoculation will undoubtedly 
play a very important part. But there are many other 
steps which should be taken into consideration in addi- 
tion to the vaccination. Infected areas should be thor- 
oughly drained and kept under cultivation for some 
time before attempts are made to pasture stock upon 
them. Sunlight greatly hinders the development of 
anthrax bacilli, and the repeated stirring of the soil 
favors the action of the sun's rays. 

The complete destruction of all anthrax carcasses is 
also a very important matter. This is best accom- 
plished by burning, but as this method of disposal 
is impractical in many localities, deep burial may be 
practical instead. Covering the carcasses within their 
graves with quicklime adds another valuable precau- 
tion against further dissemination of the infection. No 
animal dying from anthrax should ever be skinned or 
cut open, as the blood from such sources is one of 
the most dangerous means of spreading the infection, 
being charged while in the animal with great numbers 
of bacilli, which quickly turn into spores as soon as 
spread about upon the surface of the ground. All 
discharges from the body openings should also be 
burned or buried deeply, as these are frequently of a 
virulent character. 

One of the most common obstacles to sanitary po- 
lice control of outbreaks of anthrax is the opposition 
of the owners of the affected animals to any regulation 
which requires them to dispose in a safe and satis- 
factory manner the cadavers of animals dying from 
the disease. Many localities have failed to secure legal 


enactments demanding suitable destruction of in- 
fectious carcasses, and others which have laws upon 
their statute books have an opposing public opinion 
that largely nullifies the real intent and purpose of 
the law, with the result that carcasses filled with 
deadly material are allowed to lie about in the fields 
to be scattered by prowling dogs or birds; or they 
may be dragged to the nearest stream and thrown into 
the water, only to be floated along bearing their in- 
fection to neighboring properties. A little practical 
application of the golden rule by interested stockmen 
would, under these circumstances, not only prove 
beneficial to their neighbors, but the benefits would be 
felt upon their own properties in later seasons. It 
is imperative that all carcasses of animals dying from 
anthrax should be safely burned or buried if the 
eradication of the infection is ever to be reached. 

There are some encouraging features to be noted in 
connection with outbreaks of anthrax. One of these 
is the limitation of the infection to certain restricted 
areas. Another is that the disease does not sweep 
across a whole state in a few days, as foot-and-mouth 
disease is inclined to do. A third is that drainage 
of the infected parcels of ground usually removes the 
danger. So let those who have suffered losses of 
stock from anthrax take courage and resolve to ward 
it off in the future by fencing, draining, and plowing 
infected plats, by burning or burying deeply all in- 
fected carcasses, and by the vaccination of the healthy 
animals that are unavoidably exposed. Such methods 
will lessen the losses and cause the gradual disappear- 
ance of the plague. 


The revenue law of the United States enacted in 
1909 contains the following: 

Sec. 12. That the importation of neat cattle and the 
hides of neat cattle from any foreign country into the 
United States is prohibited; provided, that the oper- 
ation of this section shall be suspended as to any- 
foreign country or countries, or any parts of such 
country or countries, whenever the Secretary of the 
Treasury shall officially determine and give public no- 
tice thereof, that such importation will not tend to the 
introduction or spread of contagious or infectious dis- 
eases among the cattle of the United States ; and the 
Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and 
empowered, and it shall be his duty, to make all nec- 
essary orders and regulations to carry this section into 
effect, or to suspend the same as herein provided, and 
to send copies thereof to the proper officers in the 
United States and to such officers or agents of the 
United States in foreign countries as he shall judge 

Sec. 13. That any person convicted of a willful 
violation of any of the provisions of the preceding 
section shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dol- 
lars, or imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both. 
in the discretion of the court. 

The following official circular was issued May, 

Treasury Department, Office of the Secretary, 

Washington, May 2, 1910. 
To Officers of the Customs and Others Concerned : 
In accordance with the recommendation of the Sec- 


retary of Agriculture made in pursuance of the act of 
February 2, 1903 (32 Stat., 791), the following regula- 
tions governing the disinfection of hides of neat cat- 
tle imported into the United States are issued to take 
effect June 1, 1910, and will supersede the regulations 
heretofore prescribed by Department Circular No. 52, 
of October 20, 1909 (T. D. 30053). 

A certificate signed by the American consular of- 
ficer for the district from which the hides were shipped, 
showing disinfection by one of the methods herein- 
after described, will be required upon the entry of all 
hides of neat cattle which have not been subjected to 
a process of tanning, including calfskins and hide cut- 
tings or parings, or glue stock, with the following ex- 
ceptions, which exceptions will not be made, however, 
in case of importations from districts where anthrax 
is prevalent. 

1. Hides, whether wet or dry, the product of, and 
imported from any part of North America. 

2. Hard, sun-dried hides, also old and worn-out 
articles of manufacture, made from raw hides, such as 
loom pickers and mallet heads, imported as glue 

3. Hides and hide cuttings and parings, or glue 
stock, which have been lime dried after soaking for 
forty days in a strong lime wash made by slaking 
quicklime in water and containing sufficient lime to 
be of a creamy consistency. 

4. Abattoir hides, the product of Sweden, Norway, 
New Zealand, Australia, or Great Britain, when ac- 
companied by a certificate of an official veterinarian 
showing that the same were taken from cattle free 
from disease at the time of their slaughter. 

5. Hides taken from American cattle killed in lair- 
ages in Great Britain. 

Methods of Disinfection. 

Except in the case of hides shipped from districts 
where anthrax is prevalent, disinfection by any one 


of the three following methods will be permitted, un- 
der the supervision of a representative of the consul : 
i. By immersion in a I to 1,000 solution of bichlo- 
ride of mercury. 

2. By immersion in a 5 per cent solution of carbolic 

3. By exposure to the fumes of -sulphur dioxide in 
a room tightly closed in which the hides shall be sus- 
pended separately in such a manner that there may be 
a free circulation of the sulphur fumes and that all 
parts of the surface of such hides may be acted upon ; 
provided, that there be at least 4 pounds of sulphur 
burned for every 1,000 cubic feet of air space, and 
the room shall be kept closed and the hides subjected 
to the sulphur fumes for at least six hours. 


In the case of hides shipped from districts in which 
anthrax is prevalent, disinfection by immersion for 
at least thirty minutes in a 1 to 1,000 solution of bi- 
chloride of mercury only will be permitted, and disin- 
fection by such method will be required of all hides of 
neat cattle and hide cuttings and parings, or glue 
stock, without exception, imported from any country, 
when shipped from districts in which anthrax is 
known to the consul to be prevalent at the time of 
shipment. Consular officers in districts in which an- 
thrax^ is prevalent should refuse to certify invoices 
covering hides for shipment to this country unless 
such hides are disinfected in the manner above pro- 

Certificates of disinfection will be required upon 
the entry of hides, the product of countries other 
than those of North America, if imported via ports 
of such jatter countries, and such certificates will also 
be required upon the entry of hides produced in any 
part of North America if imported via another country 
and landed and transshipped in that country. 

Hides of a character requiring disinfection under the 


provisions of this circular, which are not accompanied 
by a proper certificate of disinfection will be treated 
as prohibited importations and refused entry. Disin- 
fection of such hides on the dock of the importing ves- 
sel upon arrival in this country, or their entry for 
transportation to another country across American 
territory, will not be permitted for the reason that the 
landing of diseased hides from the importing vessel or 
their passage through the United States would tend to 
the dissemination of cattle diseases in this country. 

This circular does not apply to goatskins sheep- 
skins, or to articles manufactured from the hides ot 

The regulations herein provided do not in any way 
modify or affect any regulations under the quaran- 
tine laws of the United States. 

Charles D. Norton, Acting Secretary. 

Disinfection of Fleshings, Hide Cuttings, Parings or 

Glue Stock. 

Amendment of Department Circular 23 of May 2, 
1910 (T. D. 30583), relative to disinfection of flesh- 
ings, hide cuttings, parings or glue stock. 

Treasury Department, September 10, 1910. 
To Officers of the Customs and Others Concerned : 

In accordance with a recommendation by the Secre- 
tary of Agriculture, dated the 13th instant, the De- 
partment's Circular No. 23 of May 2, 1910 (T. D. 
30583), is hereby so amended as to no longer require 
the production of certificates of disinfection upon the 
entry of fleshings, hide cuttings, and parings, or glue 
stock, when the same is shown by the consular invoice 
used upon entry or by a consular certificate, to have 
been lime dried, after soaking for forty days in a 
strong lime wash made by slaking quicklime in water 
and containing sufficient lime to be of a creamy con- 
sistency, or to consist of glue stock which has been 
dried by exposure to the action of the sun and air for 
a sufficient time to render each piece of the hardness 


of a sun-dried hide, provided that a certificate in proper 
form is filed with the American consul by the exporter 
showing that none of the products shipped were taken 
from animals affected with anthrax. 

It is the purpose of this amendment to permit the 
entry of glue stock of the character above described 
when imported from any country or district notwith- 
standing the limited prevalence of anthrax therein, 
without requiring the same to be disinfected in the 
manner prescribed by the said circular. 

Charles D. Hilles, Assistant Secretary. 

Disinfection of Hides. 

The exception in Circular No. 23 of May 2, 1910 
(T. D. 30583), relative to abattoir hides, extended to 
include such hides, the product of Denmark. 

Treasury Department, December 6, 1910. 
To Officers of the Customs and Others Concerned : . 

In accordance with the recommendation of the Sec- 
retary of Agriculture the following regulation in T. 
D. 30583 (Circular 23) of May 2, 1910, is hereby ex- 
tended so as to include in exception four abattoir 
hides, the product of Denmark: 

A certificate signed by the American consular officer 
for the district from which the hides were shipped, 
showing disinfection by one of the methods herein- 
after described, will be required upon the entry of all 
hides of neat cattle which have not been subjected to 
a process of tanning, including calfskins and hide cut- 
tings or parings, or glue stock, with the following ex- 
ceptions, which exceptions will not be made, however, 
in case of importations from districts where anthrax 
is prevalent. 

4. Abattoir hides, the product of Sweden, Norway, 
New Zealand, Australia, or Great Britain, when ac- 
companied by a certificate of an official veterinarian 
showing that the same were taken from cattle free 
from disease at the time of their slaughter. 

James F. Curtis, Assistant Secretary. 


Disinfection of Glue Stock. 

Treasury Department, October 28, 191 1. 
To Officers of the Customs and Others Concerned : 

The Secretary of Agriculture advises the depart- 
ment that it has been represented to his department 
by a delegation of glue manufacturers of this country 
that the material in which they are particularly inter- 
ested, so far as the regulations in connection with dis- 
infection are concerned, consists of dry limed flesh- 
ings, which material is scraped or shaved from the in- 
ner surface of limed hides or hides which have been 
subjected to a liming process principally for the pur- 
pose of depilation preparatory to tanning. 

The Secretary states that it would appear, there- 
fore, that the fleshings removed from the inside of the 
hides, like the hair which is removed from the outside 
during this processing, should be exempt from the 
disinfection requirement as applying to hides of neat 
cattle under the provisions of T. D. 30583 and the 
amendment thereto, T. D. 30913, and he requests that 
the Secretary of State be asked, in view of the char- 
acter and treatment of this material, to instruct the 
American consuls at Madras and other foreign ports 
at which dry limed fleshings are accumulated or are 
hereafter offered for shipment, to permit the same to 
come forward, until further notice, without disinfec- 
tion and without certification other than that such 
shipments consist exclusively of dry limed fleshings. 
The opinion is expressed, however, by the Secretary 
of Agriculture that this exemption should not apply 
to cuttings or trimmings from the edges of hides, or 
pieces of hides, which represent the hide in its full 
thickness or entirety, as such cuttings or trimmings 
should be subject to the same requirements as the 
hides themselves. 

The Secretary of State has this day been requested 
to instruct the consular officers concerned in accord- 
ance with the foregoing. 


T. D. 30583 and 30913, of May '* and September 10, 
1910, respectively, are, therefore, hereby amended ac- 
cordingly. James F. Curtis, Assistant Secretary. 

Disinfection of Glue Stock. 

Treasury Department, January 18, 1912. 
To Collectors and Other Officers of the Customs : 

Referring to the opinion of the Secretary of Agricul- 
ture, published in T. D. 31960 of October 28, 191 1, 
that cuttings or trimmings of hides contained in ship- 
ments of dry limed fleshings should be subject to the 
same requirements as the hides themselves, that offi- 
cer states that his department has been informed that 
the American consular officer at Madras, India, re- 
fuses to allow dry limed fleshings to come forward 
on account of containing a few pieces of dry limed 
hide cuttings or trimmings. 

The secretary states that a limited amount of these 
dry limed trimmings mixed with the fleshings is not 
objectionable, as they are trimmed from the same hides 
as the fleshings during the processing which they re- 
ceive prior to tanning, and he requests that the Sec- 
retary of State be asked to instruct the American con- 
sular officers at Madras and other ports at which dry 
limed fleshings are accumulated, or are hereafter of- 
fered for shipment, to permit such fleshings to come 
forward until further notice without disinfection or 
certification other than that the fleshings are dry 

The Secretary of State has this day been asked to 
instruct the consular officers in accordance with the 
lequest of the Secretary of Agriculture. 

A. Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary. 



The southern portion of the United States has long 
been afflicted by the presence of the cattle tick Mar- 
garopus annulatus. These ticks spread the infection 
of the disease known as Texas fever of cattle and 
often infest cattle so numerously as to stunt their 
growth and seriously affect their condition. Their 
presence necessitates a quarantine under which cattle 
from the infected regions may be shipped to other 
parts of the country only under certain restrictions 
and for immediate slaughter. The ticks also largely 
prevent the introduction and breeding of fine stock. 
The damage and losses caused by these parasites are 
enormous, being estimated at from $40,000,000 to 
$200,000,000 a year. 

Systematic cooperative work by the Federal Gov- 
ernment and the affected States for the eradication of 
these ticks has now been in progress nearly five years, 
and it is opportune to pause and look over the field 
to ascertain what has been accomplished, what ob- 
stacles have been encountered, and what may be done 
to assist in the further prosecution of the work. 

The Beginning of Tick Eradication. 

At a meeting of the commissioners of agriculture 
of cotton-growing States held in Raleigh, N. C, in 
1899, the Hon. S. L. Patterson, commissioner of agri- 
culture of North Carolina, directed the writer to pre- 
sent the aim of that department in improving the 
cattle industry by tick eradication. From this begin- 
ning until 1906 twelve counties in that State had been 


released from quarantine and fifteen mountain coun- 
ties had been permanently protected from the hith- 
erto perennial threat of a federal cattle quarantine. 
The commissioners' association and various allied or- 
ganizations, influenced by the eradication work of 
North Carolina and the results obtained by Federal, 
State and other investigators, together with the grow- 
ing necessity of ameliorating the effects of the boll- 
weevil invasion, prevailed upon the United States 
Congress to make an appropriation in 1906 to empower 
the United States Secretary of Agriculture to inau- 
gurate a plan of cooperation with the authorities of 
Southern States in the eradication of the cattle tick. 
The Federal appropriation for the fiscal year ended 
June 30, 1907, was $82,500, and for 1908, $150,000. 
Annually since then $250,000, a sum sufficient to meet 
the advances of those States interested in the work, 
has been appropriated. It is probable that succeed- 
ing Congresses will continue to meet the demand for 
future cooperation in the degree that States show real 
interest and actively engage in tick eradication. 

In 1906 there were fifteen States more or less in- 
fested with cattle ticks. These contained 929 coun- 
ties that were quarantined to prevent the cattle from 
carrying the ticks into uninfected territory. While 
preparing to cooperate with the Southern States, the 
Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, to whom the 
Federal work had been assigned, ascertained that but 
seven States had laws which would enable the bureau 
to cooperate with them. Work was begun in these, 
viz. : Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, Oklahoma and California. Since then other 
States have enacted laws and undertaken cooperation, 
notably South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and 

Some Obstacles to Progress. 

Ignorance has been a great obstacle at all stages. 
While leaders in communities are informed concern- 


ing the benefits of eradicating the ticks, they are in 
the minority, and educational processes must still go 
on. The opposition is fortified with certain attendant 
drawbacks which are sometimes pointed out, and by a 
vast amount of misinformation, which must be cor- 
rected. At the preliminary meeting of those inter- 
ested in tick eradication held in Richmond, Va., in 
1905, Dr. Tait Butler, then State veterinarian of North 
Carolina, took occasion to say to doubting members: 
"But it is being done; it has been done." If the doc- 
tors disagreed then, how much could have been ex- 
pected? And how much can now be expected of him 
who lives isolated and reads not, or, reading, doubts? 
But it is upon this man — the farmer who has seen 
ticks all his life and knows no facts to point out their 
potency for harm — that States and counties are de- 
pendent for hastening the work. 

Rapid progress in tick eradication is dependent in 
large part upon the thorough control exercised over 
the cattle during summer, fall, winter and spring, that 
they may not scatter ticks which may eventually infect 
other cattle or reinfect themselves through the seed 
ticks. The custom of turning cattle out to range 
through the unfenced swamps and roadsides prevents 
any tick eradication in many counties. The custom al- 
most universally followed throughout the South of 
turning out cattle after the crops are gathered and let- 
ting them roam at large until the spring crops begin 
to grow has prevented success in many counties where 
tick eradication has been undertaken. Counties where 
this is permitted are known as "free-range" counties, 
while those having laws against cattle running at large 
are known as "stock-law" counties. When stock-law 
counties have been cleaned further effective work must 
wait until "stock-law" is adopted in the free-range 
counties. Cleaned cattle will always be more or less 
exposed to the ticks in the infected free-range regions. 

Another class of obstacles lies in the methods of 
eradicating ticks. The surest methods, those depend- 


ing on pasture rotation or feed-lot systems, fail be- 
cause they are not used. Rotation is but exception- 
ally practiced. There are few fences other than the 
single pasture fence in the stock-law counties and the 
crop fence in the free range. These methods are prac- 
tically and theoretically the best, but only those peo- 
ple conversant with the long educational campaign de- 
signed to bring about crop rotation and diversification 
of products can realize why they are not adopted. It 
is the free winter pasturage which costs the southern 
farmer so much. 


There are left the tickicides, including oils, crude 
petroleum, and arsenical solution. They are applied 
by hand swabbing, by spraying, or in dipping vats. 
The methods are successful in the order named, the 
last being the best. In every county there are a num- 
ber of doubting people who grudgingly make a show 
of disinfecting cattle. There are others who will not 
disinfect unless repeatedly urged. Such as these are 
careless about the material used and about the applica- 
tion. They fail of success for a long time. There is 
still another class who really try to do their best. They 
may be misguided in the kind of remedy used ; they 
may purchase what agents direct, but the material fur- 
nished may prove wrong; either it is too weak in the 
strength advised, or if oil it will not emulsify in the 
hard waters of the county. Too often the work is 
put off until large ticks have developed. The result is 
bad ; no good is accomplished, and the season passes. 
The end is retarded. 

More recently, however, arsenic solution has been 
willingly adopted by ever-growing numbers. It is 
sometimes applied by hand, but oftener by spray 
pumps or in the vat. In one county over 125 vats 
have been made ; in other counties from 25 upward. 
Tn some cases the counties pay for the cement and dis- 
infectant used, and the people of the communities fur- 


nish gravel, sand, lumber and labor. The farmers 
drive their cattle to these vats at stated times twice a 
month and dip them, the process often being super- 
vised by the agent. The cattle being thoroughly im- 
mersed, all ticks are wet in the solution. The errors 
of greasing methods by hand and spray pumps are 
avoided. The arsenic solution, being cheaper and less 
injurious to the cattle, is preferred to the oil. The 
public vat with arsenic solution is succeeding easily 
where other methods have failed. Each State should 
adopt and use it wherever possible. 

It is recognized that ticks are the principal, if not 
the only, cause of depression of the cattle industry in 
the South, as the necessary feed may be easily raised 
there when cattle are considered to be worth the 
trouble. Tick eradication will thus build up another 
southern industry and help to maintain cotton produc- 
tion through the manure, a by-product of cattle feed- 
ing. Further, the cottonseed meal now sent elsewhere 
for feeding cattle and making commercial fertilizer 
will be retained for the same purpose at home, and 
the loss now incurred by its shipment will thus be 

When these facts are thoroughly recognized, and 
the southern planter is brought face to face with the 
boll weevil, tick eradication will receive the attention 
it merits. 

Prospects for the Future. 

The fact that one-fifth of the infested area has been 
cleaned in the past five years does not afford grounds 
for estimating future progress. It is not reasonable to 
conclude that because the area cleaned was situated 
along the northern boundary it was easier to clean, 
and therefore that the remainder will require a propor- 
tionately longer time, or that because four-sevenths of 
the remaining counties are free-range territory this 
condition will indefinitely prolong the work. On the 
one hand, better methods will hasten work, and, on 


the other, stock law may be adopted any year. It is 
true that tick eradication as now conducted waits on 
stock-law sentiment to prevail. Perhaps the demon- 
strated success of the work in one-seventh of the 
counties will prove an object lesson that will go far 
toward overcoming obstacles in the remaining area. 
There is hope that tick eradication, which has so far 
gone falteringly ahead, will soon advance with firmer 
tread toward its goal. 

The cost of tick eradication to the Federal Govern- 
ment up to date has been less than $1,000,000. Ex- 
cluding over 40,000 square miles of semiarid lands re- 
leased in California leaves 100.000 square miles disin- 
fected at a cost to the Federal Government of less than 
$10 per square mile. The cost to the States and coun- 
ties has so far been much less, and there seems to be 
no prospect of its becoming more than that. The cost 
to the farmer is so quickly repaid by the well-being 
and improvement in cattle that all complaint of in- 
crease in taxes is quieted as eradication proceeds. 

As one-seventh of the tick-infested territory has 
thus been cleaned at a cost to the Government of less 
than $1,000,000, the other six-sevenths would, at the 
same rate, require about $6,000,000. The estimated 
cost to any State may be attained by multiplying its 
infected mileage by $10. It is probable that this cost 
will be maintained whether a State requires five or 
twenty years to complete disinfection. 




By H. W. GRAYBILL, D. V. M., and 

Arsenical dips as agents for destroying cattle ticks have 
come into much favor during the past few years. This 
has been due to their efficacy, cheapness, the ease with 
which they are prepared, and the comparatively slight 
injury they cause to cattle when properly prepared and 
used. Homemade dips as the ones most commonly used 
and are quite satisfactory in every way when ordinary 
care is used in their preparation. Recently there has been 
placed on the market a proprietary concentrated arsenical 
dip which has given good results. This dip is prepared 
for use by diluting it with cold water in the proportions 
of i to ioo. The only advantage in such a dip is that 
comparatively little time is required in preparing the 
bath, but this advantage is largely counterbalanced by the 
fact that it is more expensive than a homemade dip. 

Preparation and Use of Arsenical Dips. 

The formula most commonly used in making an arsen- 
ical dip is the following : 

Sodium carbonate (sal soda) . . .pounds 24 
Arsenic trioxid (white arsenic) . . .do. . 8 

Pine tar g allon x 

Water sufficient to make 500 gallons. 

If for any reason a stronger dip is desired, 25 pounds 
of sodium carbonate and 10 pounds of arsenic trioxid 


may be used in place of the amounts given in the above 
formula. The stronger clip is required by the regulations 
of the Bureau of Animal Industry in the dipping of cat- 
tle which are to enter interstate commerce from quar- 
antined areas, but for ordinary eradication work when 
immediate removal of the cattle to tick-free areas is not 
contemplated it will probably be best to use the weaker 
solution, and this is especially true during hot weather 
and when the animals are to be treated every two weeks. 

In preparing the dip a large caldron or galvanized tank 
is required for heating the water in which to dissolve the 
chemicals. Thirty or forty gallons of water should be 
placed in the caldron or tank and brought to a boil. The 
amount of sodium carbonate indicated in the formula is 
then added and dissolved by stirring. When this is ac- 
complished, the required amount of arsenic is added and 
dissolved in a similar manner. The fire is then drawn, 
and the solution permitted to cool to 140 F., or this 
process may be hastened by the addition of cold water. 
The pine tar is then added slowly in a thin stream and 
thoroughly mixed with the solution by constant stirring. 
This solution is diluted to 500 gallons before using. 

If a larger caldron or tank is available for preparing 
the dip, a greater quantity of solution may be prepared at 
one time, always, of course, in the same proportion as the 
above. In this way the time required in preparing the 
amount of solution necessary to fill a vat is reduced con- 
siderably. In case it is necessary to use a smaller con- 
tainer, say of about the capacity of 25 gallons, only half 
the amount of solution indicated should be prepared at 
one time, the quantities of ingredients used being half 
those in the formula. This will, however, require so 
much time in preparing the amount of solution necessary 
to fill a vat that when possible it is advisable to provide 
a larger vessel for dissolving the chemicals. 

The caldron or tank and utensils used in preparing the 
dip should be kept free from grease or oil, as small 
quantities of these may envelop particles of arsenic and 
prevent or hinder the solution of the arsenic. It should 


also be borne in mind that when hard water is used in 
the preparation of the dip the dissolving of the sodium 
carbonate (sal soda) in the boiling water results in the 
formation of a fine white or gray insoluble powder or 
precipitate of lime salts which may be taken for undis- 
solved arsenic, and thus lead to the belief that all of the 
arsenic has not gone into solution. 

Diluting the Solution. 

The arsenical solution may be poured into the vat as 
rapidly as it is prepared until the amount required to fill 
the vat, when properly diluted, has been made. The most 
convenient way of diluting the solution is to run the 
water into the vat through a hose or pipe. The capacity 
of the vat at the depth to which it is necessary to fill it 
for dipping, if not known, should be calculated, and for 
future convenience the water line should be plainly 
marked at some point on the wall of the vat. After the 
exact amount of solution necessary to furnish diluted 
dip to fill the vat has been prepared and placed in the 
vat all that is necessary is to allow water to flow into the 
vat until the surface of the dip reaches the mark made 
on the side of the vat. For example, if the capacity of 
the vat is 2,000 gallons, then four times the amount of 
solution necessary to make 500 gallons of dip should be 
prepared, placed in the vat, and the latter filled with 
water to the 2,000-gallon mark. In case the vat leaks it 
will be necessary to modify the above procedure by plac- 
ing the concentrated arsenical solution necessary to fill 
the vat in barrels and only placing it in the vat when the 
latter is nearly filled with water, being careful to note, 
however, that there is ample capacity remaining so that 
when the solution in the barrel is added the dip surface 
will not be above the mark to which the vat is to be filled. 

The capacity of the vat planned at a depth of 5 feet 
3 inches is 1,470 gallons. In order to fill it to that depth 
with dip it will be necessary to prepare two batches of 
concentrated dip each containing the ingredients neces- 
sary for making 500 gallons of diluted dip and a third 


batch containing 7 pounds 9 ounces of arsenic and 22 
pounds 3 ounces of sodium carbonate in case 8 pounds of 
arsenic are being used to the 500 gallons, or 9 pounds 7 
ounces of arsenic and 22 pounds 8 ounces of sodium car- 
bonate in case 10 pounds of arsenic are being used to the 
500 gallons. 

Stock Solution. 

When for any reason it is not convenient to follow the 
above method of diluting the dip, a stock solution may be 
prepared in which the quantity of ingredients for 500 
gallons of diluted dip are dissolved in 50 gallons of water. 
Nine parts of water to 1 part of this stock solution will 
then give the proper dilution. The stock solution is 
found very convenient for replenishing the dip in a vat 
when it has become too low for dipping. A stock solu- 
tion should not be made in more concentrated form than 
that given (50 gallons of stock for 500 gallons of dip), 
as the pine tar does not remain properly mixed when the 
solution is too concentrated. 

The arsenical dip may be left in the vat and used re- 
peatedly, replenishing it with the proper quantities of 
water and stock solution when necessary. When, how- 
ever, the dip becomes filthy through the addition of man- 
ure and dirt carried in by the cattle, the vat should be 
emptied, cleaned, and filled with fresh fluid. The fre- 
quency with which this should be done must be left to 
the owner, as the condition of the dip at any period 
after it has been made depends on a variety of conditions, 
such as the number of cattle dipped, the frequency of the 
clippings, etc. Even though the dip may not become 
very filthy, its efficacy decreases somewhat on standing, 
owing to gradual oxidation of the arsenic. It is therefore 
advisable to recharge the vat if the dip is more than a 
month or six weeks old, irrespective of its condition as 
to cleanliness. 

At the conclusion of each dipping it is well to mark 
the position of the surface of the dip on the side of the 
vat in order to determine at the next dipping whether 


there has been a change in the level of the dip. If the 
surface of the dip has fallen and it is known that the vat 
does not leak, there has been a loss of water by evapora- 
tion and Consequently an increase in the strength of the 
dip. In order to bring the dip down to its former strength 
water should be run into the vat until the dip surface 
reaches the mark made at the last dipping. If the fall has 
been due to the vat leaking, the strength of the dip has not 
been altered and consequently water alone should not be 
added. If the dip surface has been raised by rain the 
amount of water added in this way should be determined 
by calculation, and for every nine gallons of water one 
gallon of the stock solution previously mentioned should 
be used. 

When not in use the vat should be tightly covered with 
a waterproof cover to prevent evaporation on the one 
hand and further dilution by rain on the other hand. Se- 
curely covering the vat when not in use also lessens the 
risk of accidental poisoning of stock and human beings. 

Precautions in the Use of Arsenic. 

On account of the fact that arsenic is a dangerous 
poison, great care must be observed in making and using 
the arsenical dip. From the time the arsenic is procured 
from the druggist until the last particle of unused residue 
is properly disposed of, the most scrupulous care should 
be taken in handling it. Guessing at weights or measures 
or carelessness in any particular is liable to result in great 
damage, and not only may valuable live stock be de- 
stroyed, but human beings may lose their lives as well. 

Persons using the dip should bear in mind the possi- 
bility of absorbing arsenic through cuts, scratches, or 
abrasions of the skin and also by inhalation of vapors 
from the boiler in which the dip is prepared. It should 
be remembered that the, absorption of even very small 
quantities of arsenic, if repeated from day to day, is 
liable ultimately to result in arsenical poisoning. 

Cattle should always be watered a short time before 
they are dipped. After they emerge from the vat they 


should be kept on a draining floor until the dip ceases 
to run from their bodies ; then they should be placed in 
a yard free of vegetation until they are entirely dry. If 
cattle are allowed to drain in places where pools of dip 
collect, from which they may drink, or are turned at once 
on the pasture, where the dip will run from their bodies 
on the grass and other vegetation, serious losses are liable 
to result. Crowding the animals before they are dry 
should also be avoided, and they should not be driven 
any considerable distance within a week after dipping, 
especially in hot weather. If many repeated treatments 
are given the cattle should not be treated oftener than 
every two weeks. 

In addition to properly protecting vats containing 
arsenical dip when not in use, another precaution must be 
observed when vats are to be emptied for cleaning. The 
dip should not be poured or allowed to flow on land and 
vegetation to which cattle or other animals have access. 
The best plan is to run the dip into a pit properly pro- 
tected by fences, and the dip should not be deposited 
where it may be carried by seepage into wells or springs 
which supply water used on the farm. 

The above precautions are given to inform persons not 
familiar with arsenic of its poisonous nature and the care 
that should be observed in its use, and to stimulate a 
proper care in those who know its poisonous nature and 
yet might be careless or who may not know all the pre- 
cautions that should be observed. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the giving and emphasizing of such precautions 
have had the effect of arousing unwarranted fear of 
arsenic on the part of some stockmen and farmers, and 
have caused them, for a time at least, to refuse to under- 
take its use in treating cattle for ticks. For the benefit 
of those who may unduly fear arsenic because of what 
has been said, it should be stated that when reasonable 
care is observed in following the precautions given the,re 
is little danger of losses occurring. The arsenical dip has 
been extensively used during the past five years in tick- 
eradication work in the tick-infested area, and consider- 


ing the number of cattle that have been dipped the losses 
have been very small. Some of these losses have been 
definitely traced to carelessness, and there is little doubt 
that if it had been possible to investigate all losses the 
majority of them would have been found to be due to 
this cause. 

Method of Dipping. 

The procedure to be followed in dipping animals on a 
farm depends on the end that is sought in undertaking the 
treatment. If it is simply desired to reduce and keep 
down the infestation of ticks on a farm, it will only be 
necessary for the owner to keep his animals under obser- 
vation and dip them when, according to his judgment, 
treatment is necessary to keep the ticks under control. 
Such a procedure may well be followed where the regu- 
lar tick eradication is not under way ; that is, in instances 
in which it is not yet practicable or expedient to rid 
farms completely of ticks. 

If, however, it is desired to rid the farm completely 
of ticks — and this should be the purpose in every case 
in which it is practicable and expedient — it will be nec- 
essary to dip all cattle, and also any horses, mules, or 
asses that may harbor the cattle tick, at regular intervals 
until all ticks have disappeared from the farm. The 
purpose of such dipping is to prevent as nearly as possible 
any engorged females dropping to the pasture and there 
laying eggs which in time may develop into young ticks. 
In order to do this it is necessary to dip at intervals short 
enough so that no tick after getting on the cattle will have 
time to mature and drop off before the next dipping. An 
interval between dippings of two weeks is considered 
most satisfactory. This interval, however, may be in- 
creased somewhat if necessary, but it should never be 
greater than three weeks. 

In freeing a farm of ticks the dipping should not be 
discontinued until it has been determined with certainty 
that the cattle and premises are free of ticks. It should 
be borne in mind that it is almost impossible to deter- 


mine by a few inspections, even if carried out with great 
care, that animals are free from ticks. If the treatment 
is discontinued and a few unobserved ticks are still on 
the animals, these, on maturing and dropping, are likely 
to give rise to a new brood of young ticks. Moreover, 
even if the cattle are actually free from ticks, the fact 
should not be lost sight of that there may still be engorged 
females, eggs, and seed ticks on the premises. This is 
most likely to be the case during the colder part of the 
year when the development of the tick on the ground 
progresses slowly and also when any seed ticks that may 
be present are likely to be slow in reaching the cattle be- 
cause of inactivity resulting from the low temperature. 

Specifications for the Construction of a Concrete Cat- 
tle-Dipping Vat. 

The site selected for the location of the vat should be 
dry and of sufficient size to admit of the construction of 
the chute, the dripping pen, and at least two additional 
pens — one for holding the cattle prior to dipping and 
the other for retaining them after dipping' until sufficiently 


The excavation should be made i foot wider and i foot 
longer than the inside dimensions of the vat and should 
conform to its shape. The inside dimensions of the vat 
are shown on the drawings (Fig. i) and are as follows: 
Length at top of vat, 26 feet; bottom 12 feet. Width at 
top, 3 feet; at bottom, i l / 2 feet. Depth, 6*/2 feet. 

The sides and bottom of the excavation should be firm 
and solid, as they are to serve for the outside forms in 
casting the concrete. If it is necessary to do any filling 
in order to conform to the shape of the vat, the filling 
should be puddled and thoroughly rammed until solid, 
because the stability of the concrete depends on the 









The wooden forms should be constructed of i-inch 
boards and 2 by 4 inch braces, the boards being nailed to 
the outside face of the braces, as shown in the drawings. 
The sides and end walls should be built 8 inches higher 
than the surface of the ground, which should be level. 


The concrete should be made of 1 part of cement, by 
measure, 2.y 2 parts of sand, and 5 parts of broken rock 
or gravel. The cement should be of a standard brand of 
Portland, the sand clean and coarse, and the broken rock 
from about ^-inch pieces to not larger than will pass in 
every direction through a i-inch ring. 

Mixing. — The mixing should be done on a tight 
wooden platform or in a tight box. The sand and stone 
should be measured in a bottomless box, 2^ feet long 
by 2 feet wide by 1 foot deep, having a capacity of 5 
cubic feet. A convenient size of batch to mix is one con- 
sisting of 2 bags of cement, 1 measure (5 cubic feet) of 
sand, and 2 measures (10 cubic feet) of stone. 

The sand is measured out first and the cement emptied 
on top, after which the two materials are thoroughly 
mixed together, dry. In the meantime the stone may be 
measured out and thoroughly drenched with water. The 
cement-sand mixture is mixed with water and the result- 
ing mortar then combined with the stone. The stone 
should be shoveled on the mortar, which has been previ- 
ously spread out in a thin layer. Mixing should continue 
until the stone is thoroughly coated with mortar, more 
water being added during the mixing process if neces- 

Laying. — Before laying the concrete the molds should 
be set and thoroughly braced into place. The side forms 
may be suspended in the excavation with their lower 
edges 6 inches from the bottom by means of crosspieces 
nailed to the uprights and of sufficient length to rest on 
supports located several feet from the edges of the ex- 


cavation. The concrete for the bottom a-d incline is de- 
posited first, this mixture being of a consistency that 
water will flush to the surface on ramming. The mix- 
tures for the sides and end should be very wet and should 
be thoroughly puddled into place. The consistency of 
the concrete for the side walls should be such that it will 
run off the shovel unless handled quickly. 

The laying of the concrete should be done, if possible, 
in one operation, in order that there may be no joints be- 
tween the new and old work. If it becomes necessary 
to lay the concrete on two or more days the surface on 
which the new concrete is to be deposited should be 
washed thoroughly clean and coated with grout of pure 
Portland cement and water mixed to the consistency of 
cream. The new concrete should be placed before the 
grout has set. Extreme care should be taken to prevent 
dirt from falling in on top of the deposited concrete. 

The forms should not be removed until the concrete is 
set, which in moderate weather will have taken place in 
about 24 hours. In damp, cold weather at least 48 hours 
should be allowed before removing the forms. It will be 
advisable, especially in water-soaked ground, to allow the 
forms to remain in place for one week before removal. 

Finishing Coat. — Before applying the surface coat 
dampen the walls and floor thoroughly. Cover the entire 
exposed surface of the floor and walls with a coating 
one-half inch thick of cement mortar composed of Fort- 
land cement 1 part, sand 2 parts. Coating to be floated 
and troweled to a smooth finish. 


If the earth around the vat is thoroughly drained the 
vat may be waterproofed by painting the surface coat, 
but painting the surface will not give satisfactory results 
if there is ground water to seep in. The paint may be 
good hot pine tar, or gas-house tar cut with naphtha or 
gasoline and applied with a brush, or after the mortar 
coat has hardened the inside of the vat may be painted 
with an oil-cement paint made as follows : Mix enough 


water with Portland cement to make a fairly stiff paste ; 
add to this 5 per cent of heavy petroleum residuum oil 
based on the weight of the cement, and mix thoroughly 
until the oil entirely disappears, then add more water 
and stir until a paint of the consistency of cream is 
formed. This paint should be applied with a brush and 
should be well rubbed into the surface. Should the mor- 
tar coat be omitted the paint coat should be applied di- 
rectly to the surface of the concrete. 

Exit Incline. 

As the exit incline is to have a false wooden floor, it 
will be necessary to embed iron bolts in the concrete, to 
which the wooden floor may be fastened. Before the con- 
crete incline is laid embed in the dirt three pieces of 
2 by 4 inch scantling, placed at the top, center, and bot- 
tom of the incline. The bolts should extend through 
these pieces and should be placed with the head next to 
the dirt. The bolts should be long enough to extend 
through the concrete and the inch boards of the floor, so 
that the wooden floor may be securely fastened. 


Cover the slide with a sheet of boiler iron properly 
fastened to the cement. 

The cover of the vat consists of two leaves hinged on 
posts set 3 feet in the ground along each side of the vat. 
The leaves are 2 feet 6 inches wide, and when open rest 
against the upper part of the posts to which they are 
hinged and serve as splash boards. The details of the 
hinge used and the method of setting it are shown in the 
drawings. When the leaves are open their lower edges 
are just above the top of the side walls, which are given 
a slope inward for the purpose of conducting the dip 
running from the splash boards back into the vat. Re- 
movable doors should be constructed to close the triangu- 
lar openings left at the ends of the vat when the cover 
is closed. The hinges may be made by a blacksmith. 


Dripping Pen. 

Construct a dripping pen about 12 by 15 feet at the 
head of the exit incline. The floor should be of concrete 
prepared as previously described for the vat and laid in 
a similar manner. The floor should be pitched toward 
a corner of the pen, where a pipe should be laid in the 
floor to carry the drippings into a barrel sunk in the 
ground. The drippings thus caught may be returned to 
the vat after settling. The floor should be roughened to 
prevent the cattle from slipping. 


The chute leading to the vat should be built 30 inches 
wide and 20 feet long, and the receiving and retaining 
pens should be of a size to take care of the animals to 
be dipped. 

Bill of Materials for Vat, Dripping Pen and Chute. 
Lumber for Forms. 

8 pieces 1 by 12 inches by 14 feet long. 
13 pieces 1 by 12 inches by 12 feet long. 
2 pieces 1 by 12 inches by 9 feet long. 
2 pieces 1 by 12 inches by 6 feet long. 
2 pieces 1 by 12 inches by 4 feet long. 
8 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 8 feet long. 
2 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 7 feet long. 
2 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 6 feet long. 
2 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 4 feet long. 
2 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 2 feet long. 
7 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 12 feet long for crosspieces 
for inside of forms. 

Lumber for Dripping Pen. 

7 pieces 6 by 6 inches by 10 feet long for posts. 

10 pieces 1 by 8 inches by 16 feet long for side rails 
of pen. 

5 pieces 1 by 8 inches by 12 feet long for side rails of 


5 pieces i by 8 inches by 8 feet long for side rails of 


The covers can be made from the lumber used in mak- 
ing the forms, and the lumber for the exit incline can be 
gotten in the same way. 

The 4 by 4 inch posts to which the cover is hinged may 
be made from 2 by 4 stuff by spiking together. 

End form to be made solid. 

Hardware and Ironwork. 

6 bolts, ]/ 2 by 10 inches, with nuts and washers, for 
false floor of incline. 

1 sheet of ]A, -inch boiler iron cut to shape of slide; 
plate bored and countersunk for four screws. 
4 pairs hinges for covers. 

3 heavy T hinges and screws for gate of dripping pen. 
1 heavy iron bolt to fasten gate. 

Concrete — Vat. 

Cement, io^4 barrels (42 bags). 
Sand, 2>Ya cubic yards. 
Stone, 6% cubic yards. 

Dripping Pen and Chute. 

Cement, 5^2 barrels (22 bags). 

Sand, 1^4 cubic yards. 

Stone, 3^2 cubic yards. 

A 26-foot vat has been used extensively for eradication 
purposes with satisfactory results. However, if it is de- 
sired to lengthen the body of the vat on account of large 
numbers of cattle to be treated, or to make it conform to 
the bureau's requirements for the treatment of cattle for 
movement as non-infectious, there should be added to 
the amount of concrete material for each lineal or run- 
ning foot, cement, 0.37 barrel; sand, 0.12 yard; stone, 
0.24 yard. 

By some a dripping chute is regarded more satisfactory 
than a dripping pen. One of the advantages that it has 
is that the cattle are held in line in the order in which 


they have been dipped, thus making it possible to remove 
one or more of them at a time as soon as they have 
drained sufficiently, in order to make room for others. In 
using the dripping pen this is not practicable and it is 
necessary to wait until the last animal dipped has drained 
sufficiently and then remove them all together. 

In case it is desired to construct a dripping chute it 
should be located at the head of the exit incline in line 
with the vat. It should be about 36 inches wide. The 
length will depend on the number of cattle it is desired 
to accommodate at one time, it being necessary to allow 
4 to 5 feet for each. A length of from 20 to 40 feet is 
considered a convenient size for small herds. The floor 
should be made of concrete and sloped toward the vat. 
The dip should not be permitted to run directly into the 
vat, but should be collected in a barrel to settle, as shown 
in the case of the dripping pen. The floor at the sides 
should be raised about 2 inches in the form of a curb 
to keep the dip from running off. 


During the past fifty years the hide and skin trade 
of Britain has seen many changes, and, in some re- 
spects, it has undergone a complete transformation. 
From a comparatively low-priced by-product, hides 
have become elevated into a commercial position 
which has brought about startling changes in the 
method of collection, preservation and distribution, 
and at the present time so great is the scramble for 
British hides that tanners are faced with the real 
difficulty in making — or attempting to make — low- 
priced leather from dearer and dearer raw material. 
Of course, hides have now become an international 
product, so that conditions approximate practically 
all the world over. 

Early Legislation. 

Before proceeding, however, to discuss modern con- 
ditions prevailing in the British hide business, it may 
be of interest to briefly note that the question of the 
proper preservation and flaying of hides has been 
made the subject of legislation from very early times 
in Britain. This was probably due to the fact that 
a proper supply of hides for turning into leather for 
military purposes was regarded as a prime necessity 
of the times, as it is obvious the abundant supply 
of foreign hides now so common was not available 
at the periods mentioned. The various butchers', 
tanners' and other trades guilds of the period also took 
care of the hide supply, and a search in connection 
with some of the old documents bearing on the sub- 
ject yields a good deal of quaint and useful informa- 
tion as to the regulations prevailing. 


In a book of this sort, however, which deals with 
the business side of the question, it will be impossible 
to fill much space by quoting such matter. Still, it 
is interesting just to mention one or two extracts from 
old Acts of Parliament which have a bearing on 
the subject. 

The King James Act. 

In 1604, during the reign of King James, an Act 
was passed which included the following clause: 

"Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, 
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons of 
the present Parliament assembled, and by the au- 
thority of the same, That from and after the Feast of 
St. Bartholomew the Apostle, next coming, no 
butcher, by himself or by any other person, shall 
gash, slaughter or cut any hide of any deer, bull, steer 
or cow in slaying thereof, or otherwise,- hereby the 
same shall be impaired or hurt, upon pain of forfeiture 
for every hide so gashed, slaughtered and cut, twenty 
pence; and that no butcher shall water any hide ex- 
cept only in the months of June, July and August, 
nor shall offer or put to sale any hide being putrefied 
and rotten, upon pain of forfeiture for every hide so 
watered and for every hide so putrefied and rotten, 
and offered or put to sale, three shillings and four- 

The Act, from which the above is extracted, re- 
pealed a statute of Queen Elizabeth and all former 
statutes, so that it is clear the hide question was an 
important one, even at these early times of English 

The matter seems to have reached another stage 
during the reign of Queen Anne, as the Act of James 
was repealed and another Act passed, from which the 
following extract is taken : 

Penalty for Bad Flaying. 

"Penalty on gashing hides and skins and for the 
better preventing the gashing and cutting of any hides 


in slaying thereof, whereby the same shall be impaired 
or hurt, it is hereby enacted that from and after the 
four and twentieth day of June, one thousand seven 
hundred and eleven, if the raw hide of any ox, bull, 
steer or cow, or the skin of any calf, shall wilfully or 
negligently be gashed, slaughtered or cut in the slaying 
thereof, or being gashed, slaughtered or cut, as afore- 
said, shall be offered to sale to any butcher, or other 
person or persons whatsoever, then in every such case, 
the butcher or other person who impaired or hurt the 
said hide, by gashing, slaughtering or cutting, as 
aforesaid, or the person offering the same to sale, 
shall, for every such offence, forfeit and pay the sum 
of two shillings and sixpence for every such hide, and 
one shilling for every such calve-skin, to wit, one 
moiety thereof to the poor of the parish where the 
same shall be found or offered for sale, and the other 
moiety thereof to such persons as will seize, inform 
or sue for the same." 

There is no doubt that in later times, when these 
Acts became obsolete, the quality of the flaying, 
preparation and preservation of hides steadily de- 
teriorated, and it is only in comparatively recent times, 
when hides became scarce, and their uses increased 
to a very large extent, that any attention has been 
devoted to an improvement in one of nature's best 
productions, impossible to replace or add to, as live 
stock is not raised for the covering but for the meat 

As mentioned before, a great deal of attention was 
paid to hides by the various ancient corporations, 
and protection was followed out in a way which looks 
archaic and quaint at the present time. Trading was 
only allowed within certain local limits, while all sorts 
of artificial barriers were raised to prevent the free 
trading in raw stock as we have it in the twentieth 
century. Just one old case may be quoted, perhaps, 
as throwing an interesting light on the subject. From 
an old Nottingham record, it appears that in the year 


1396 the inhabitants of two English ^ounties were in 
the habit of visiting the great weekly market, and a 
man attended from Breedon, in Derbyshire, with a 
load of hides. Four townsmen complained to the 
authorities that "they had spoken with him for the 
aforesaid hides, and were all but agreed as to the 
price, when a culprit came secretly and bought for a 
greater sum," etc. What the decision arrived at was, 
does not seem to be very clear, but if matters of this 
kind were given much attention to at the present time, 
it is likely some of our trade associations would have 
little else to do except settle such disputes. 

An extract from the Northampton "Liber Custo- 
marium," an old book, in which all the local customs 
of the town were duly set forth, must conclude the 
brief historical references to ancient English hide 
trading. This is dated 1460, and it is stated herein : 

"No stranger may buy hides or pelts but in time of 

"No man of Northampton to go out of the town at 
none of the gates for to meet the men of the country 
that bring hides or wool to sell, but to buy in the 
market only. 

"No butcher henceforth to haunt the butchery as a 
master till he have given to the town three shillings 
and sixpence, as in old time they were wont to give." 

The first proviso was evidently designed to protect 
the local tanning industry, as monopoly and protec- 
tion seem to have been the first principle of medieval 
local legislation. It is obvious the local authorities 
were bound to grant an exception at fair times, other- 
wise the rustic sellers would hardly have brought 
produce to suit the convenience of the town people. 
It is also curious to note that butchers were not al- 
lowed by custom or law to go out of the town to 
sell their output of hides. 

Tanned leather, by the way, was also later on 
taxed by the British Parliament, and was in fact only 
freed from this impost about a century ago. The re- 


moval, however, of all the absurd restrictions to the 
hide and tanning business has been a good thing for 
the various branches which have continued to pros- 
per, and still continue to do so under a more up-to- 
date and enlightened regime. 

The Collection, Distribution and Sale of Hides. 

Until a few years ago, before the idea of hide and 
skin depots and hide markets was developed, hides 
from the cattle slaughtered by various butchers were 
sold to the local tanners, fellmongers, tallow chan- 
dlers, country carriers, etc., who either came to the 
slaughter house and bought up the goods or made 
short contracts for them. The system was not very 
satisfactory for many reasons, as much time and 
money were spent in going around and collecting the 
hides and skins, bargaining for them, and getting 
them to their final destination. This system, however, 
continued in force until railway communication be- 
came more general, but with the present input of some 
of the big yards, which work in two or three thousand 
hides weekly, it would hardly be a practicable proposi- 
tion. Obviously, all sorts of hides had to be taken, 
the collection including steer — or oxhides, as they are 
called in England — cowhides, calfskins and sheep- 
skins. The inconvenience in handling such a mixed 
collection is obvious, and need not be enlarged upon. 

This old method is still followed out in some out 
of the way districts, where railway communication is 
bad or uncertain. Tanners or dealeis send their carts 
for the few hides and skins available, and prices are 
fixed according to circumstances. Few cheap hides, 
however, are now to be had, as the leather trade pa- 
pers regularly publish the average prices obtained at 
public markets, while brokers regularly send out 
schedules of prices to the most remote country 
butchers, often with an offer to purchase the entire 
production at market prices. 


Modern Methods of Buying. 

In some districts, tanners and fellmongers send out 
their own buyer to visit the butchers almost every 
day, who fix the rates for the hides and skins; in 
others they contract monthly with the butchers for 
the best skins. Generally speaking, hides are con- 
tracted for at so much per pound, or per stone of 14 
pounds, say, from under 60 pounds and over 60 pounds, 
the prices varying according to the quality of the 

hides. Formerly, hides were bought with the horns 
and skull attached, but a few years ago, mainly owing 
to the influence of the various tanners' federations, an 
improvement was brought about in this direction, so 
that now tanners, at all events, get a fair proportion 
of hide, and not a quantity of bone and horn, which 
not only was useless, but cost money to transport both 
to and away from the yard. 

Unfortunately, there are still a few tanners in 
Britain who prefer to stick to the old methods of 
purchasing hides with horns, skull, etc., attached, 
but practically all the leading hide and skin markets 
sell them without these encumbrances. 

The Market System. 

When the idea of establishing hide and skin mar- 
kets came into existence, the scheme was opposed 
in many directions, many tanners professing to object 
to the tried and established method of collecting their 
raw material. Many of them spent large sums in the 
attempt to destroy the modern system, but eventually 
it became established, and to-day few tanners, except 
the very small ones, urge much objection to buying 
their hides from markets, properly prepared, graded 
and weighed to suit their own special requirements. 

Apparently, when the idea of hide and skin markets 
was first brought forward, the scheme was not re- 
garded as a money-making concern, but was primarily 
introduced to ensure the butchers a fair market price 


for their by-products. Commission charges were sim- 
ply taken to pay expenses, but the success of the 
project attracted some of the cuter commercial spirits, 
and the markets were in many cases turned into lim- 
ited companies and showed a good profit on the 


Hide Market or Auction Methods. 

Hides and skins are received at the various markets 
from all sorts of sources, and on arrival are all se- 
lected, classed, and placed in piles not exceeding 30 
hides. The selection is mainly according to weights, 
viz. : 49 pounds and under, 50 to 59 pounds, 60 to 69 
pounds, 70 to 79 pounds, 80 to 89 pounds and 90 pounds 
and over. These market hides have the shanks cut off 
square at the hocks and knee. The lips and all super- 
fluous parts of the hides are cut away, and the weights 
marked on the butt end near the tail, this being the 
green net weight of the hide, after deducting an al- 
lowance settled by the hide classer for wet, manure, 
or any other additional adhering substance showing 
at time of weighing. 

Inspection and Weighing. 

In most markets, hides are weighed on a special 
scale and a clerk checks every weight before the hide 
is booked. From this book they are again checked 
out, and invoiced to the tanner. Some great hide 
centers, such as Newcastle and Liverpool, have an 
independent inspector, who classes for all the local 
markets. As in America, hides are classified according 
to quality, substance, flaying, warble holes and gen- 
eral condition, some markets bearing a good name for 
their goods, others being held under suspicion. 

Improvements Through Organization. 

Of late years a good deal of attention has been paid 
to the hide question by the British trade press, the 
tanners' federations, and several special authorities 


who have studied the question. All sorts of estimates 
have been made as to the annual loss 'brought about by 
cuts, wide scratches and warble holes. Deputations 
have waited on the leading government officials con- 
nected with the Board of Trade, and it would seem as 
if a great improvement is to be brought about in the 
very near future. In many cases good, work is being 
done in this direction by the hide and skin markets, 
which offer premiums to slaughtermen who send in 
fairly perfect hides. In 191 1, for instance, the total 
number of hides inspected by the Newcastle Hide In- 
spection Society was 88,027, the classification being as 
follows: First class, 38,279; second class, 47,736; third 
class, 2,012. In this particular case, there was a de- 
cline in the number of first-class hides, as compared 
with the previous year, warbled hides being specially 
on the increase. In fact, the report issued in con- 
nection with this market states that out of the total 
number of hides inspected, probably not 20 per cent 
are free from the ravages of this pest. 

It is calculated by competent authorities that about 
80 per cent of the hides slaughtered in the United 
Kingdom are now handled by established markets ; 
the tanners can either attend the market auctions or 
they may employ a commission agent, who will prob- 
ably buy for him at a lower price than he could him- 
self. The hides are usually sold by catalogue at the 
larger markets, such as Bermondsey (London), New- 
castle, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham, Shef- 
field, etc., and, although all sorts of tricks are alleged 
against the regular attendants, yet on the whole the 
system works well, and, in any event, tanners are 
now more or less assured of obtaining hides suitable 
for their special or particular trade. 

Further Reforms Projected. 

The conditions appertaining to the purchase of hides 
have not been regarded as very satisfactory in Britain 
for some time, and all sorts of suggestions have from 


time to time been made by the various federations. 
It is now proposed that the various local associations 
shall appoint small committees, annually elected, 
which shall be made up of tanners, commission agents 
and hide brokers in the locality of each market who 
will deal with complaints. It is also suggested that 
the classification and weighing shall be carried out 
by chosen men supervised by the committee, under a 
standard which is to be settled by the tanners' federa- 
tion. All hides are to be weighed, and stamped on 
the flesh side or tail with the marks A. B. or C. 
It is also suggested that markets or approved collec- 
tions inspected by a federation shall be registered, and 
that buying shall be only made through these regis- 
tered channels. 

The above are about the latest proposals put for- 
ward by the tanners' federations, and deposits of cash 
and certain guarantees are made in connection with 
the scheme. The slight cost of the above scheme is 
to be borne by the buyer and seller of the hides, and 
is to be collected by the selling broker. 

During hot weather, English market _ hides are 
slightly salted to preserve them ; those which have to 
travel long distances by rail or ship are of course 
heavily salted, all being baled up and tied in con- 
venient bundles with stout cord. 

Anglo-American Hides. 

As regards the treatment of hides taken from Amer- 
ican cattle slaughtered at such ports of entry as Dept- 
ford, Birkenhead, etc., these are usually well flayed 
and of good quality, and are regularly sold at high 
prices to British and foreign tanners. When the 
turn of the market is favorable to the transaction, 
certain selections are re-shipped to the United States, 
small plump best hides, for instance, suitable for 
best classes of leather belting being often returned to 
the United States in this manner, A good deal of 
nonsense, by the way, is talked about this phase of 


the hide business in Britain by ardent political pro- 
tectionists, and at the last parliamentary elections it 
was often stated that there was a proviso in the sell- 
ing agreement — always insisted on by American cattle 
shippers — that the hides from the cattle were to be 
re-shipped to the land of their birth. In some cases, 
politicians even went so far as to tell their audiences 
that this was a strict provision under the Dingley 

At these depots of slaughter, hides are often salted 
down in large quantities, as many as 1,200 often being 
placed in one stack. They are carefully selected, 
weighed and salted, all the outer edges being turned in 
toward the center of the pile. Every attention is paid 
such hides, and no doubt we are largely indebted to 
some of the big American packers, who have depots on 
this side, for the increased care and attention hides 
have been shown during the past few years. 

Varieties of Cattle and Hides. 

In a review of this sort, it is not necessary to devote 
much space to a consideration of the various breeds 
of cattle or the sort of hides obtained from them. 
Mention might, however, be made of a few repre- 
sentative classes. Kyloes are considered the best, 
as they throw a level stout hide, as the beasts ma- 
ture slowly. They are very square and short legged in 
the pure-bred classes. Runts, or Welsh, or a similar 
hide, and are suitable for tanners who wish to turn 
out a stout butt. Another good class is the Aberdeen 
Angus, which possesses a smooth coat and are a va- 
riety of black-polled cattle from the north of Britain. 
Galloways are a similar hide, but are rather smaller, 
and throw a somewhat plumper hide than the Angus. 
These representative breeds are considered to be 
about the best hides in Britain, and formerly brought 
about a penny a pound more than other hides of- 
fered. Hides lighter in substance, however, are now 
rather more required, so that the difference is not now 


so marked, although in many markets they are still 
given a special classification in the regular schedule. 
A fine spready hide is also obtained from the Here- 
ford breed, these being favored by harness and belting 
makers. The Devon breed of cattle are also much 
esteemed, and produce a good pattern hide, which is 
useful for many purposes in leather manufacture. 

Foreign Trade in British Hides. 

A moderate business is done in connection with 
the export of hides and skins of British origin, America 
at times taking fair quantities of hides from our mar- 
kets when prices warrant it. The quantities and 
values of hides exported taken from cattle slaughtered 
in the United Kingdom for the past three years were 
as follows: 1909, 285,084 cwts. (value, £800,812) ; 1910, 
196,962 cwts. (value, £552,021), and 1911, 215,901 
cwts. (value, £594,843). In 191 1 the destination of 
this quantity of tanners' raw material was as follows : 
Germany, 59,562 cwts. ; United States of America, 
84,117 cwts.; Canada, 26,691 cwts.; other countries, 
45,531 cwts. 

Imports of Hides. 

Against this there is a very large import of hides 
into Britain from practically every corner of the 
world. The abundant supply of raw foreign material 
being taken special and full advantage of by the 
large sole and dressing leather tanners of the north 
and western parts of England. A good deal of this 
material arrives at the Thames riverside wharves in 
London, and is there classified, graded and weighed, 
prospective buyers being allowed the opportunity of 
visiting the wharves and inspecting samples of the 
lots on offer. Here valuations are marked off by them 
on catalogues, and in due course the buyer or his 
broker bids for the hides in open competition at the 
periodical auctions which are held several times a 
year in Mincing Lane, London. 


Hides Tanned in England. 

A vast amount of the quantity of dry, dry salted and 
wet foreign hides which goes to London is, however, 
again re-exported, but, after allowing for this, dry 
hides to the value of £784,570 were worked into 
British tanyards in 191 1, as compared with £974,775 
in 1910. Wet foreign hides worked in during 191 1 
amounted to the very large figure of £1,661,278, as 
compared with £1,890,953 in the previous year. It 
is certain, therefore, that British tanners are very 
largely dependent on the foreign sources of supply for 
their raw material. It is not too much to say that, 
had this supply not been available of late years, the 
sole-leather trade would have been in a bad way, as a 
good and cheap mixed tanned sole leather has been 
produced from foreign hides, which has effectually 
competed with the import of American hemlock and 
Australian tannages. 

Disposal of Sheepskins. 

Many of the above remarks apply with equal force 
to sheepskins, as regards the collection and distribu- 
tion of this raw material. Sheepskins, however, are 
not sold by weight. The)' are received at the market 
by the skin classer or his assistant, and are marked on 
the catalogue according to the system in vogue at 
the place. Such marks as XX. X., A. B. C. D. are 
often favored; in other centers they are classed as 
firsts, seconds, thirds, fourths, etc. Shorn skins are 
a separate class, as are lambs, and wool skins which 
have been clipped once. Lambs which have grown 
out of the real lamb stage are classified as Hogs, 
Hoggetts or Tegs, according to the locality in which 
they are sold, but the letters A, B and C are generally 
in use as classing terms in all markets. 

Inspection Committees. 

In some of the leading markets, such as Newcastle 
and Liverpool, there are buyers and sellers who form 


a hide and skin inspecting- committee, which appoints 
a man to pass or grade the hides or skins into the 
various classes. This individual is termed a hide 
inspector, and is quite independent, as he is not em- 
ployed by the selling broker alone, but, as stated, paid 
and controlled by the inspection committee. 

In classing sheepskins in British markets, atten- 
tion is paid to the size of the. pelt, the quality of the 
flaying, the condition of the flesh side, scabs, spoilt 
places, quantity and quality of wool and the amount 
of damage this has received by tar, dips or dyes. A 
good deal of experience, tact and skill is required in 
a skin classer, who has to strike a balance of equity 
between the sender and the buyer of the skin. On 
the whole, however, the system works fairly well, and 
is productive of plenty of competition between fell- 
mongers who regularly attend the various markets. 
The fellmongers are loud in their complaints that the 
values of wool skins have been forced up to a point at 
which there is neither profit nor pleasure in doing busi- 
ness. This, however, seems common to the buyer of 
all kinds of tanners' raw materials, but as the gen- 
eral business seems a flourishing one, it is quite likely 
fellmongering or wool pulling is quite as profitable 
a business as most other sections of the hide or leather 

Horsehides and Calfskins. 

In dealing with the British hide and skin trade, it is 
not necessary to take up much space by dealing with 
horse and calf skins. The trade done in these direc- 
tions is only a moderate one, and, in the case of horse- 
hides, seems to be a steadily declining section, owing 
to the rapid displacement of the horse by mechanical 
traffic. Probably a great part of the horsehides col- 
lected and sold on our markets, and by private dealers, 
find a market abroad, quite a big business, compara- 
tively, being done with the United States, where they 
are used largely for heavy glove work, enameling, etc. 
Almost the only outlet for the salted butts now seems 



to be Russia, where they are still us^.d for converting 
into waxed leather for the high boots favored by cer- 
tain classes of wearers. In England, horse slaughtering- 
has to be licensed by the local authorities, and, as 
the business is not much liked, licenses are now seldom 
granted, especially in great centers of population. 

Quite a fair quantity of British horsehides find their 
way to the Continent, especially to Germany, where 
they are either bark-tanned and dressed for enamel- 

The green weight of hides, in certain sections of England, as 
credited to the local butcher, is usually marked on the butt of the 
hide, near the tail, with knife cuts. Strokes crossing the horizontal 
line represent twenty pounds each and those above the line ten 
pounds each. Figures under ten pounds are made in Roman nu- 
merals under the horizontal line. In the above cut the weight of 
ninety-eight pounds is expressed. 

Jn France a similar method is followed, the weight being given 
in pounds of half a kilogramme (50 kilos equals 110 pounds). The 
above cut is self-explanatory in regard to this method. 

ing, or turned into chrome leather for imitation box 

However collected, whether from the slaughterers 
or from other sources of supply, horsehides are usu- 
ally classified at the recognized markets into firsts, 
seconds, thirds and fourths quality, and are sold by 
the piece. Like all raw stock, however, their value is 
steadily advancing, and as the supply will in all prob- 
ability decline as motor traffic increases, there is every 


reason to believe values of this class of stock will 
reach abnormal figures. 

Compared with the great veal-eating country of 
Germany, or even France, the amount of calfskins 
handled in Great Britain is very small, and this is one 
reason perhaps why such progress has been made in 
the calf leather trades on the continent of Europe. 
Calfskins are collected and handled much as described 
in the remarks on hides, most of) the recognized mar- 
kets regularly receiving small supplies every week. 
They are usually classified as follows : Seventeen 
lbs. and over, 9 lbs. to 16 lbs., 5 lbs. to 8 lbs., and un- 
der 5 lbs. Kipcalf and casualty or damaged calf are 
scheduled under special headings. There are no re- 
liable statistics available showing the amount or value 
of exported calfskins of British origin, but at times 
fair-sized parcels of skins leave this country for the 
United States, the cheaper and "kip" classes being 
most favored when the market permits of large deals. 
On the other hand, quite a fair-sized trade is done 
with the continent in raw calf, many of our tanners of 
straight-tanned and chrome calf depending for their 
supply of raw stock on regular parcels of Dutch, 
French, Swedish, Danish or other skins. 


Of late years, owing to comparative scarcity and 
high prices, to say nothing of the increasing uses to 
which leather is put, hides and skins have received mucn 
more attention in Europe than was formerly the case. 
Efforts have been made, and with a great amount of suc- 
cess, to obviate the loss caused by bad salting, warbles 
and careless flaying, and at the first Conference, of the 
Leather Trades held in Turin in September, 191 1, quite 
a large proportion of the Agenda was devoted to subjects 
connected with the raw materials of the tanners' in- 
dustry. In some cases government attention has been 
given the methods of preserving and curing hides, whilst 
the various technical schools, butchers' and tanners' as- 
sociations have also been directed to a betterment of such 
questions as the prevention of warbles and improved 
methods of flaying. Much, however, remains to be done 
before wastage is stopped, but the advances made in the 
past, and the attention given the question at the present 
time, augur well for the future. 

It is impossible in the space at disposal to enter fully 
into the subject, as it is a very large and comprehensive 
one. In such a continent as Europe, parts of which are 
big centers of population, whilst others are sparsely popu- 
lated, one can hardly deal with the methods followed out 
all over the continent. However, enough may be said to 
give readers a general idea of conditions and to show 
that, at any rate, in some countries, the value of hides 
and skins is fully recognized by the care and treatment 
they receive. 

Marketing Hides in France. 

In France, especially in such towns as Paris, it is 
becoming more and more the custom for country butchers 


to send their hides and skins to the local hide markets 
for sale at the periodical auctions. In centers where 
butchers are not organized on the co-operative and 
profit sharing principle, butchers send their goods to 
salters, with instructions that they should be sold for 
their account by auction. These auctions, as a rule, 
take place in each district at regular intervals of about 
once a month. 

In France, the selling conditions vary in each district ; 
in some places hides are sold with the horns and skull 
bones taken out, whilst in others they are allowed to re- 
main in, and allowance is made in the weight for ad- 
hering dirt and manure. Although efforts have been 
made by parties interested, it has not yet been possible 
to obtain any agreement or cohesion between these auc- 
tions, or to get them to adopt any uniform method of 
sale. Still, butchers and tanners are steadily working 
away in this direction, and it is highly probable that in 
time uniformity in the collection, distribution and sale of 
raw hides and skins will be the outcome. 

Paris Auctions. 

The most important French auctions — and in some 
respects perhaps the most important in Europe — are the 
Paris monthly sales. These usually last three days, and 
something like 30,000 hides and 40,000 calf skins are 
offered and sold, buyers attending from all parts of 
Europe, and many of them having large commissions to 
execute at times on American account. The hides are 
graded up into heavy ox, medium ox, and small ox, cows 
being scheduled as heavy cow and light cow. Other 
classes include light bull and heavy bull, medium calf, and 
light and extra heavy calf. 

The Paris hides being sold in the green state, the 
quantities scheduled in the catalogues represent what each 
butcher is likely to produce during the coming month. 
In reality, the buyer buys for forward delivery, and by 
bidding for a lot, one is really buying a butcher's produc- 
tion of hides and skins for the next following month. 


Bids are made for ioo half kilos, equal to about ioo 
lbs. English, and the bids advance by quarter francs. 
The catalogues show what prices were obtained for each 
lot at the preceding month's auctions, a useful guide to 
prospective purchasers. 

Many of the hides taken off in Paris are from public 
abattoirs, and are, in consequence, well flayed and 
treated. The usual run of hides are very spready, but 
are well grown, and are bought chiefly for the manufac- 
ture of carriage leathers and high grade belting leathers. 
France, being also a large veal consuming country, is a 
large supplier of calf skins, and French square-trimmed 
skins are well known all over the world where a fine 
and well-patterned skin is required for upper stock, book 
binding or high class leather manufacture generally. 

Sales to America. 

Naturally, Paris hides and skins are fully appreciated 
by American tanners, and when the price is favorable, 
almost the entire offering is bought up on American ac- 
count. The business done is at times worked through 
dealers, but this is often very unsatisfactory to tanners, 
as when an unscrupulous dealer is unable to obtain the 
genuine Paris slaughter, he at times ships country hide? 
and skins, faked up to resemble the Paris goods as much 
as possible. The better plan is to buy through a broker 
who, for a small commission, will secure just the right 
kind of hide or skin required. These brokers, by the 
way, also look after the salting, curing, and shipping, 
any in many ways study the interests of their clients in 
a way which is a very direct money saving proposition. 

Notes on German Hide Cure, Etc. 

Of late years the thrifty Teuton has paid special at- 
tention to various methods of hide cure and distribution, 
with excellent results. A good general outline of the 
careful methods followed may be gathered from the 
rules for flaying and salting laid down by the Union of 
Thuringen Tanners, which are as follows : 


Thuringen Rules for Take-Off. 

Every bide is to be flayed from the beast direct into 
a basket beneath. Here it is left to drain and cool Flay- 
ing into a basket has the advantage that the grain side 
remains quite clean and dry, and thus blood spots and 
other damage is avoided. For beating out the hide, 
special rounded hammers are used, which make any 
damage to the hide by cutting impossible. All hides are 
to be salted as soon as possible after cooling, in any case 
not later than the day of flaying. For this they are, 
after being cleaned from any adhering dirty matter, laid 
flat, spread out flesh side up on a low stretcher, which 
is higher in the middle than at the sides, and every part 
of the flesh side is sprinkled with about 25 per cent of 
green weight of salt. 

Heavy parts of the hide, such as the head, are specially 
well salted, and the slightly stuck together edges are to be 
opened out and carefully sprinkled with salt. Too much 
salting never hurts. 

The underside must be so arranged that all the salt 
water can flow away easily without soiling the lowest 
hide. In this way 100 to 150 hides can be easily laid one 
upon the other. The heads are not placed one upon the 
other, but laid near each other alternating above and 
below. By heavy salting a layer is formed under which 
the blood, water, etc., can easily run away without soiling 
the grain side of the hide lying next above. If the hides 
are sufficiently well salted, they can lie on the pile for a 
whole week and take no harm. Hides or parts of hides 
which are not salted stiff after two days, or on which no 
more free sale is to be found, must be resalted. 

As blood, and the liquids of the hide, decompose in 
warm weather at least within a few hours, and in this 
condition are no longer fluid, so the draining off of the 
fluid of the hide and therefore proper preservation by the 
penetration of a strong solution of salt into the center 
of the hide is impossible if salting is not done immedi- 
ately after the hide has cooled. 


The firmer and stiffer the hide becomes on the pile, the 
more fluid is drained from it, the better it is preserved, 
and the better is the resulting return in hide substance 
and leather. 

The salting and storing must take place in a cool 
place. The hides must be protected against draughts and 
sunshine to avoid drying up. Direct sunlight favors the 
commencement of decomposition. On dried-out spots the 
salt crystallizes out and makes in conjunction with blood 
salt spots, and the so-called "salt eating," i. e., small 
holes on the grain side, which greatly reduce the value 
of the hide. 

After 4 to 6 days, when the hides are ''salt hard," they 
are bundled up and tied. It would be wrong to tie the 
hides up into bundles immediately after salting ; the 
undrained-off water would remain in the hide and no 
proper preservation would ensue. The grain side would 
be soiled by blood stains and "salt-eating" would arise. 
Before salting the hides must be protected from frost and 
freezing, which alters the fibre texture mechanically, and 
later causes a weak, porous leather. Salted hides are not 
so susceptible to frost, because a saturated solution of salt 
only freezes at a very low temperature. 

Calf skins are to be salted in the same way as hides. 
They are also laid upon each other flesh side up, care- 
fully salted and left lying 3 to 4 days. In packing in 
bundles each two skins can be laid flesh side together. 
For salting only fresh unused salt must be used. 

As a denaturing agent, alum is to be avoided, as it 
partially tans the skin and makes difficult the proper 
softening and slacking, and frequently causes spots of 
calcium sulphate which renders unhairing impossible. 

The most useful method of denaturing is with a quar- 
ter per cent of petroleum, or about three per cent of 
calcium soda. This latter seems to be the best, as 
petroleum or petroleum residue, if not well mixed with 
the salt, causes greasy spots on the hide which lime cannot 


Italian Hides and Their Treatment. 

The Italian hide trade is an important one, and for 
certain purposes, such as high grade sole leather, Italian 
hides are second to none, especially those obtained from 
Northern Italy. Of late years, a good deal of trouble 
has been caused by the materials used in connection with 
the denaturization of the salt used, a process rendered 
necessary by the fact that salt is dutiable in most Euro- 
pean countries. This question was fully discussed at the 
Turin conference above mentioned, when a useful paper 
on the subject was read by Dr. Baldracco of the Royal 
Italian Tanning School, on a series of experiments and 
observations made by himself and Sig. Camilla Romana. 
The experiments were undertaken in consequence of ap- 
peals made by several hide and skin associations in 
France, when the investigators were empowered to in- 
vestigate the causes of so-called salt stains, and to en- 
deavor to find methods which would lead to their pre- 
vention. After fully investigating all the work previously 
done in connection with the matter, the investigators came 
to the conclusion that the gist of the question could be 
summarized by the following two queries : 

Causes of Salt Stains. 

(i) Are the so-called salt stains produced by the 
decomposition of various matters, such as blood, al- 
buminoids, etc., which exist in the hides themselves at 
the time of salting? 

(2) Are the so-called salt stains produced by the 
mixture of substances contained in the salt itself, or 
are they contained in the materials used in the denaturing 
of the salt ? 

The investigators, it appears, confined themselves to the 
second question, as they hoped that the first would be 
investigated by those competent, whilst the second would 
be of most practical value to the tanner. Admitting that 
the salt most suitable for hide preservation was sea salt, 


they devoted their attention to a long series of experi- 
ments, the results of which are herewith appended. 

Report i. 

Salt Denaturing. 

The formulas for salt denaturing, furnished by the 
Italian Minister of Finance on the conclusion of the de- 
liberations of the council appointed for the investigation 
of the matter, were as follows : 

(a) Sodium sulphate of potassium chloride 10 per cent 

(b) Alum, or any other substance such as 

aluminum sulphate 15 per cent 

Petroleum 0.25 per cent 

The Technical Council for Salt, however, rejected the 
proposal to reduce the amount of sulphate of sodium for 
denaturing to 5 per cent, and forced them to the con- 
clusion that the different substances such as sulphate of 
sodium, aluminum sulphate, alum, etc., which would not 
be allowed as denaturing materials alone, must be mixed 
with petroleum or naphthaline before use. 

The Italian Tanners' Association offered an objection 
to the use of alum or aluminum sulphate, whilst they ad- 
mitted as acceptable sodium sulphate and i potassium 
chloride. The investigators then tried the effect of the 
addition of borax, using the following formulae for de- 
naturing in experiments on salting: 

(1) Common salt not denatured 15 per cent 

(2) Sulphate of sodium 10 per cent 

Petroleum 0.25 per cent 

(3) Potassium chloride 10 per cent 

Petroleum 0.25 per cent 

(4) Sulphate of sodium 5 per cent 

Petroleum 0.25 per cent 

(5) Sulphate of sodium 5 per cent 

Naphthaline 1 per cent 

(6) Borax 10 per cent 

Petroleum 0.25 per cent 

(7) Borax 10 per cent 


In their report the experimenters state the skins were 
covered uniformly with salt and allowed to lie in pile for 
48 hours, folded in the usual manner and allowed to re- 
main for a month. After the expiration of this period, 
they were closely inspected, washed, and placed in a lime 
to which sodium sulphate had been added. After un- 
hairing, fleshing and deliming, the skins were again 
carefully inspected and the following results were noted : 


Agent as Above. Character of Pelt. 

(1) Blue spots on flesh and grain 

(2) Blue spots and faint blue shades 

(3) Blue spots and strongly marked shades 

(4) Blue spots and shades. 

(5) Blue stains less marked than 2 and 4 

(6) Blue shades very slight 

(7) Blue shades more marked than 6. 

The conclusions drawn from the above were as fol- 
lows : 

(1) The causes of the characteristic blue stains must 
be looked for in the salt itself (Experiment No. 1). 

(2) By the use of salt denatured by the use of potas- 
sium chloride, the blue stains are less than is the case 
with denatured salt. 

(3) The use of salt denatured by the use of sodium 
sulphate, the stains were still less. 

(4) Where borax is used for the denaturing of the 
salt, the stains were very slight, consisting of light blue 
shades, and no pronounced spots. 

The investigators in their report called attention to 
formulae 6 and 7 for denaturing, and to the fact that 
the spots remained throughout the whole tanning process. 
The light shades, however, vanished almost completely 
in the first acid liquors of the vegetable tannage, and in 
the pickling process which preceded the chrome process. 
The conclusions arrived at were that preference must be 
given to borax for denaturing materials. 

The work described in the above report was continued, 


and experiments were made with denaturing salt with 
potassium bichromate, whilst experiments were also made 
with salting with especially pure salt. This latter was 
made in ordinary way, greater care, however, being taken 
in purification, contact with iron vessels being avoided. 

ment. Salt Composition. Observations on Pelt. 

8. Purified common salt not 

denatured White flesh and grain, 

; with light spots on the 

9. 15 per cent refined table 

salt Same as 8 

10. 15 per cent purified salt 

denatured with 0.017 

per cent potassium 

bichromate, 10 per cent 

sodium sulphate, 1 per 

cent naphthaline White flesh and grain, 

light shade on flesh 
ir. 15 per cent purified salt 

denatured with 0.017 

per cent potassium 

bichromate, 10 per cent 

sodium sulphate, 1 per 

cent naphthaline, 5 per 

cent borax Flesh and grain verv 

-^- '-'■'*• white and no colora- 

is jh> "■?' '%.. ~ . tion 

The first experiment confirmed the previous statement, 
that the main cause of the salt stains was to be found 
in the salt itself, as the use of purified salt almost caused 
the stains to disappear. Experiment 10 showed that the 
formula proposed by the Government should be given 
the preference. Experiment 11 confirmed the preliminary 
results in regard to the beneficial results likely to be ob- 
tained by the use of borax as a denaturing agent. The 
investigators came also to the conclusion that when a 


pure salt is used, the No. 10 formula was a suitable one 
for the denaturing of salt, the use of borax being allow- 
able for those who desired it. 

The above data was read at the Turin Conference of 
the Leather Trades, and its provisions received much con- 
sideration from the chemists and tanners present. 
Amongst the official resolutions passed was one suggest- 
ing that in the cure of hides and skins the quality of the 
salt used should come before everything else. Only 
such salt should be used in the manufacture in which the 
greatest care and cleanliness had been used, avoiding 
any which had been made in any plant containing iron. 
If these conditions are granted, the really important point 
was the use of borax for denaturing salt in all processes 
for salting hides, as all the experiments made had shown 
that the use of borax for denaturing salt were the best 
means for avoiding salt stains on hides and leather. 

Belgian Hides and Skins. 

A rather important paper on The Improvement of 
Hides and Skins was also read at the Turin Conference 
by Mr. Emile Kemp, who attended on behalf of Belgian 
Leather Manufacturers' Association. ■ In this he drew 
attention to the fact that the Belgian Bourse aux Cuirs 
had since its foundation in 1906 largely interested itself in 
the question. After pointing out that the increased uses 
to which leather was put had greatly changed the char- 
acter of the article required, and that the most clever 
tanner could not turn out good leather from bad raw 
material, he went on to draw attention to the defects 
caused by the warble fly, barbed wire fencing, the pres- 
ence of dung and dirt and the effect of bad flaying and 
cuts. An attempt was made, it was said, in 1907 by an 
exhibition of hides, skins and leather to direct public 
interest toward the damage done by the causes just men- 
tioned and so much interest was evoked that further steps 
were taken in the direction indicated. A press campaign 
was instituted, and a second Conference called in June, 
1909. In 1910 the Bourse aux Cuirs again had a fine 


exhibit of hides, skins and leather at the Brussels Exhibi- 
tion showing the damage done by warb 1 es, wire fencing, 
bad flaying, etc., and although this exhibit was unfor- 
tunately burnt, it served to create a great interest in the 
matter throughout the farming, grazing, butchering, and 
tanning industry. A good deal of literature was also 
distributed in connection with this subject at the exhibi- 
tion, no less than 5,000 pamphlets being given away, 
drawing attention to the improvements in flaying when 
beaten off the carcass with a hammer or mallet. As a 
matter of fact the Belgian Bourse aux Cuirs has spent in 
four years about 10,000 francs in connection with the 
agitation for an improvement in connection with hides 
and skins, and the Bourse has stated in the trade press 
that if other trade associations would take the work up 
as well, there would soon be a vast improvement in the 
take off and quality of the world's supply of hides and 
skins. Even now butchers' cuts in hides are gradually 
vanishing in Belgium, whilst the example set by this in- 
dustrious little country is steadily being followed by 
France, where in many cases flaying by the hammer is 
being followed out with excellent results. In regard to 
flaying by the hammer (la depouille au marteau) it will 
be interesting to give here a translation of the instruc- 
tions and a reproduction of the diagrams issued by the 
Bourse aux Cuirs of Belgium. 

Diagram 1. 

The beast is placed on its back and the hide is removed 
from the legs, which are then hooked together. The 
opening of the hide is made in a straight line above the 
knee and toward the beast to a length of about three 
centimeters below the breast. 

Diagram 2. 

The beast is now placed on its back with the legs 
skinned and tied together. An opening is made in a 
straight line from the point of the chest in the direction 
of the root of the tail. If the plan indicated in the figures 


i and 2 are followed out, a hide of perfect shape will be 
the result, as shown in diagram 4. 

Fig. 3- 

The illustration shows that the flaying with the hammer 
is easy and simple. After the hide is removed from 
the flanks, so as to get a firm grip with the pincers, blows 
are given between the hide and the flesh, and not only 
is a perfect hide obtained, but there is no resulting injury 
to the carcass or meat. 

Diagram 4. 

If the directions given in figures 1 and 2 have been 
followed out, a fine shape will be obtained, whilst there 
will be no damage to the edges as shown by the dotted 
lines. By the use of the hammer it is impossible to cut 
hides, whereas these are almost impossible to avoid when 
the flaying knife is used. 

Much attention has also been paid to the damage done 
to hides and skins in Denmark, and extensive trials have 
proved that the best results in regard to the destruction 
of the warble or grub in cattle are obtained by the re- 
moval of the larvae from the back of the living animal 
at the proper seasons of the year. 

Diagram 1. 

Diagram 2. 

Diagram 3. 

Diagram 4. A Perfect Hide. 


The southern half of the western hemisphere fur- 
nishes to Europe and the United States a large quan- 
tity of wet salted and dry hides. In recent years 
American tanners have used wet salted hides more 
freely and are beginning to know their real value, com- 
pared with domestic stock. 

South American wet salted hides are of three classes, 
viz., frigorificos, saladeros and mataderos. 

Frigorifico Hides. 

The frigorifico class is of the highest quality and is 
taken off similar to Chicago packer stock, but is not 
so well flayed. The labor conditions are not stable, 
the men shift around, causing variation in the take- 
off — sometimes better and again poorer — but mostly 
it compares favorably with the best packer hides. 
The slaughterers kill largely for the European markets. 
They dress domestic cattle interbred with finer stock 
similar to American free-of-brand beeves, although 
still containing some of the Creole or original range 
blood. The hides coming from a warm climate are 
much like Texas stock. The hides are plump and the 
fiber open, and they absorb more tannin and produce 
very firm leather. 

Salting, Disinfection and Trim. 

Frigorifico hides are salted in the same manner as 
American packer stock, but are trimmed much closer 
and washed on both the hair and flesh sides before 
going into pack, and therefore are very clean. They 
are cured with coarse mineral salt, which leaves the 
hides in a white condition. The hides, after being 


washed, go into a pickling vat containing strong brine 
with five per cent bichloride of mercury, to meet the 
requirements of the United States government. After 
being in pickle for twelve hours, they are withdrawn, 
put in a pile, drained off and salted. The pickle ex- 
tracts the animal juices from the hides more quickly 
than when they are salted in packs green from two 
to three weeks. For this reason frigorificos cure much 
faster than American packer hides. 

Saladero Hides. 

Saladero hides are from creole cattle, or those not 
interbred, resemble old-style Texas steers, are very 
thick and plump and have one to four brands. The 
brands are small, generally on one butt. Saladeros 
are not as well taken off as frigorificos, but are capable 
of producing, at the same prices, better results, be- 
cause they make a larger yield of leather. They are 
suitable for sole leather only and in past years were 
tanned mostly in Germany, France and Italy. During 
recent years a great many have come to the United 
States, as our tanners realized their value, compared 
with domestic stock, and know how to handle them. 
These hides are cured the same as frigorificos, but 
are not so clean of flesh. 

The mataderos are of the same stock as the sala- 
deros, but are taken off by country butchers. The 
take-off and cure are a good deal poorer and class 
with American country hides. 

Prices and Sales Methods. 

The values of South American wet salted hides are 
based on frigorifico steers. The saladeros sell on a 
par with the frigorifics nearly all the time. The 
mataderos bring from i^c to 2c below saladeros on 
account of their poor take-off and cure. 

Saladero and matadero killers are located through 
the country in small places and would class with 
American small packers' establishments. The labor 


in these districts is very uncertain, hence the poorer 

Hides are sold flat, no selections being made for 
weights: They run very uniform, from 50 to 75 pounds 
average; in the summer season 57 to 60 pounds, and 
in the winter season 60 to 67 pounds. 

The seasons in South America are just the reverse 
of the northern continent, summer here being winter 
there. The climate is about the same. The winters 
are not so severe — they never have snow — and, there- 
fore, the cattle do not get so long-haired and unhair 
more quickly in the spring, so that the short-haired 
season is about two months longer than in North 

Calfskins are graded at 7 to 15 pounds and kip at 
15 to 25 pounds, the same as American weights. They 
compare favorably with the hides, the cure and take- 
off being equal. 

Dry Hides. 

There are many varieties of dry hides in South 
America. Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Montevideos and 
Cordobas are the stable selections. They are all taken 
off on the range. Many of the cattle are killed for 
immediate consumption, while some die through the 
winter season, the hides being preserved while the 
meat is wasted. The hides are sun and air dried and 
in many districts are poorly taken care of. A good 
many lots run very poor, while others run good. They 
are shipped to the markets in Buenos Aires, Monte- 
video, etc., their names being given as of the port of 
export, in original lots and are sorted up. Very bad 
gluestock hides are removed. They are then graded 
for heavy hides, 14 to 16 pounds and upward, the 
average being 22 to 24 pounds, although sometimes 
as high as 26 to 28 pounds. They are then sorted 
for No. i's, No. 2's and No. 3's, and each hide is 
marked according to the exporter's individual method. 
Some have Nos. 1, 2 and 3, while others use letters 
in designating the various grades. The No. 2 hides 


are called "desechos" in Spanish, and the No. 3's, 
"maldesechos." The hides are sold on a flat basis, 
to run a uniform percentage of No. 2's. Buenos 
Aires and Montevideo hides are usually sold with 20 
to 30 per cent seconds specified, while Entre Rios 
are always sold free of kip and glue hides, or 14 
pounds and upward. 

These hides usually are sold on the same selection 
for heavy and light stock, specifying 15 to 20 per cent 
seconds. These are the highest priced hides that 
come from South America. They class for quality 
in this order: Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Montevideos 
and Cordobas. 

Damage by Ticks, Etc. 

South American hides are all more or less ticky, 
depending upon the section in which they originate. 
Some are very ticky, while others are less affected. 
In buying dry hides the tanner has to contend with 
damage from sunburn. Winter, fall and spring hides 
are the best, while summer stocks are the poorest. 
This is because of sunburns, which injure the grain 
and oftentimes cause hides classed as No. 1 to be 
put into gluestock. Such hides were injured in dry- 
ing, but the damage does not show until they are 
put into the limes and soaks. 

Kip and calf skins are graded the same as in wet 
salted stock and are sold as to quality on the same 

The terms on dry hides are the same as on wet 
salted stock. Sole leather tanners have bought these 
hides for many years, are familiar with them, and are 
buying them constantly. 

Hides coming from the western part of South 
America, such as points in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and 
Columbia, are classed about the same as those men- 
tioned above, and come largely in dry stock; very 
few, if any, are wet salted. Some are dry salted, which 
means half dry. Their values are based on North and 
South American hides. 


America gets from South America only the surplus. 
The European countries have impOiced these hides 
for years, or since the raising of cattle began, and 
they are their main supply. They usually buy what 
they require and the surplus comes to America. This 
condition applies to the hide and skin surplus of the 

How Hide Trades Are Financed. 

Hides are bought mostly on letters of credit, three 
or four months, letters being issued through American 
bankers and their London correspondents and the rate 
of exchange is based on $4.86 per English pound. 
Orders are given for a quantity of hides, of a certain 
packer. They are cabled there and the purchases made 
and reported to the tanner, after which the letters of 
credit are issued, in the name of the party making the 
purchase. The hides come forward in thirty to fifty 
days, according to whether the vessels are fast or slow. 

All hides are sold cost and freight New York or 
Boston, when destined for America, which means that 
the freight and all costs in South America are paid by 
the seller. When the hides land they are at the risk 
and expense of the buyer, who usually has a public 
weigher receive, weigh and ship them at his (the 
buyer's) expense. The insurance is also paid by the 
buyer, as all bankers require an insurance policy to 
cover the letters of credit in their name to insure 
safety. This financing is done at a low rate of interest 
through London, and the bankers are very careful that 
the loan is secured by the goods until they are de- 
livered to the buyer. Buyers who are responsible can 
get these letters at three or four months, and sign 
trust receipts when the hides arrive and pay the draft 
when it matures. The charges for such letters of 
credit through good bankers are usually y 2 of 1 per 
cent for three-month letters and ^4 of 1 per cent for 
four-month letters. Some of the smaller bankers 
charge higher for these letters. 

Hides are usually sold in advance of the kill. South 


American packers operate on the buyers' money all 
the time. They sell their meat and offal before they 
buy the cattle, giving the bankers a guarantee to 
produce the goods or settle for the difference in value 
at the market value at the time of delivery. This 
business was started and built up in this way by 
people who did not have much capital, and still con- 
tinues along the same lines. The methods will, no 
doubt, change more or less as American packers get 
into the South American markets. 


Cattle hides of Mexican origin are desirable and of 
good quality owing to the general absence of disease 
among the animals of that country. The cattle are 
smaller than the average in the United States, but their 
hides are tough and very desirable for sole-leather pur- 
poses. Mexican hides are somewhat on the order 
of Texas steers and cows of former days, when the vast 
herds roamed unprotected from the weather. Goat- 
skins form the greater part of the supply of material 
for making leather from Mexico, owing to their general 
use as a farm and dairy animal. 

Much difficulty has been met with in endeavoring to 
raise pure-bred cattle, horses, etc. Many years ago 
large herds were imported into the country in an en- 
deavor to raise the standard of beef and draft animals. 
Experience, however, proved that the rough and un- 
sheltered life was too much for the well-cared-for ani- 
mals. Better results were obtained subsequently by 
the importation of pure-bred males only. The animals 
brought into Mexico are more subject to anthrax and 
cattle ticks than the native beasts. 


Cattle are slaughtered by well-to-do farmers on 
their ranches. Killing is also done by butchers, who 
take the animals to the municipal slaughter houses 
for this purpose. The Mexican government of late 
years has assumed control of a line of large slaughter 
arid packing houses. From these plants the best flayed 
hides come. As a usual thing, the hides taken off by 
the farmers and butchers are dried to preserve them, 
while abattoir stock is salted, much the same as in 
the United States. 


Methods of Drying Hides. 

Hides are dried by exposing them to the sun, or in 
shaded sheds. The hides are hung on poles or wires, 
flesh side out, the fold being down the center of the 
back. Sun-dried hides are liable to harden on the 
flesh and not allow the moisture underneath to evapo- 
rate, while the shade-dried are preserved in a uniform 
manner all the way through. No salt is used in pre- 
serving dried hides. After the hides have been thor- 
oughly dried, they are given a treatment of poison. 
This preparation is made of either a solution of ar- 
senic or cyanide of potassium. The purpose of this 
application is to free the hides from destructive in- 
sects which ruin them by eating the hide substance. 
The poison is applied by sprinkling it in the hair, 
which is the abode of the bugs, as they are commonly 


There are two classifications of dried hides. Flint 
hides are the hides of cattle which have been slaugh- 
tered, while murrain or fallen hides come from dead 
animals. Flint hides have a bright, live appearance, 
while the fallen stock has a dead and dull appearance. 
Dry hides are put up for shipment in bales of easily 
handled size, the number to a bale being governed by 
the class and weight of stock being shipped. They 
are placed one on top of the other, legs in and backs 
out, there being backs but no legs showing on the out- 
side of the bales. Hides are piled in a compress, and, 
when a sufficient number have been piled, they are 
pressed in a tight, compact bale and bound. 

Wet Salted Hides. 

Wet-salted hides are treated in much the same man- 
ner as packer hides in the United States. They are 
placed in packs built to retain as much pickle as 
possible. They are left lying in salt for thirty days 
to thoroughly purge them of blood and foreign animal 


matter and then taken up, classified, bundled and 
shipped. Mexican wet-salted hides ~ve branded and 
are generally sold in but two classifications — cows and 
steers — with the various weight selections, as to de- 
mands of buyers. No poison enters into the curing 
or preserving of wet-salted hides. 


Goatskins are classified as "Matanzas" and "fron- 
tiers." The former are those that weigh 800 grams 
(1.763 pounds) or over, and are of standard shape, 
and well taken off. Those that do not come up to these 
specifications are classified as frontiers. The matan- 
zas skins are dried without using salt, after which they 
are poisoned, similar to the dry hides and rubbed with 
talcum dirt. Talcum dirt is found in many sections 
of Mexican country and is a substance closely re- 
sembling clay, being more commonly known as clay 
dirt. The frontier skins are dried without salt and 
subjected to immersion in clay dirt, but are not 
poisoned, the latter operation being eliminated in pre- 
paring the poorer quality skins for the market, or 
when only small lots are involved. 

Deer, Hog and Slunk Skins. 

Deerskins and wild hogskins are dried without salt 
and are not poisoned. Skins of the unborn calves, 
commonly called slunk skins, are taken from the cows 
when slaughtered and dried with salt, and poisoned, 
good care being taken with them owing to their de- 
sirability for use in making the better grades of 

General Absence of Cattle Diseases. 

Anthrax seldom appears in the sections of Monterey 
and Vera Cruz, from which ports a large part of the 
output of goatskins is shipped, and only a very lim- 
ited number of cases have been found for several years 
past. Those cases discovered were almost entirely 


among the imported animals. The remedy used is to 
kill the animal affected and burn the carcass, so that 
the disease does not spread. Ticks are known through- 
out the Monterey district, but can easily be controlled 
by furnishing the animals with plenty of salt. The 
district of Vera Cruz is not seriously affected by the 
prevalence of tick, and, as a rule, only imported ani- 
mals suffer. In the interior of the country, where an 
altitude of 5,000 feet or over is reached, ticks do 
not exist. 



Australia is a great hide-producing country, the 
number of cattle increasing at a great rate during 
the "good seasons." Unfortunately for the "squatters," 
as well as the dairy and other farmers, the country is 
visited periodically by droughts, which carry off many 
thousands of cattle and sheep by starvation and thirst 
consequent on want of herbage and water, through 
lack of rain, the country being turned in a few months 
from a paradise of vivid green to a barren desert, and 
the cattle from fat, sleek, well-contented animals to 
miserable, well nigh starved bags of bones. 

The hide supply is obtained from several sources, 
foremost being the great "squatting" or cattle-raising 
industry. Some of the larger "runs," thousands and 
tens of thousands of acres in extent, carry great num- 
bers of cattle during the good seasons and from these 
are drawn the beef supply for the different colonies, 
and also the vast amount of chilled meat which is ex- 
ported to Europe. The cattle are either driven by 
road or carried by rail to the larger centers of popu- 
lation, such as Sidney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, 
etc., where are situated the large killing and chilling 
plants of the different colonies, where the cattle are 
slaughtered and the surplus which is not wanted for 
local consumption is chilled for transportation to 

Abattoir Hides. 

The hides from these "abattoirs" are the very best 
in the colonies, usually being beautifully flayed, well 
salted, and coming into market in a very fine state, 


practically free from cuts, blood and dirt, which cannot 
be said for many small lots of country butcher hides. 
The hides from the abattoirs are usually eagerly bid 
for at the public auctions, where the great bulk of the 
hides of the country is sold, by the tanners and ship- 
ping agents. The hides are sent into the auction rooms 
in Sydney, Melbourne, etc., and are calssified into firsts, 
seconds, cuts; also different weights, as 60 pounds and 
over 60 pounds, 55 pounds, 50 pounds, 45 pounds, and 
on down to yearlings, wet salted, dry salted and dry. 

Dairy Hides. 

The dairying industry has made such tremendous 
strides in Australia of late years that it has become 
quite a factor in the hide trade, whole districts in each 
of the colonies being almost entirely given up to 
dairying, and instead of each farmer making his own 
small quantity of butter each day, he now sends his 
milk to the central factory, where it is tested and 
he is paid for it according to the percentage of butter 
fat contained in his milk, the butter being made 
altogether and so kept at one standard of quality. 
These thousands of farmers driving to the central fac- 
tory each day bring in hides from cattle that have been 
slaughtered after fattening, or from cattle that have 
met with accident, such as getting into bogs, trees 
falling on them, getting swept away by floods and 
only recovered for the hides ; or, during droughts, from 
cattle that are not considered valuable enough to 
feed artificially and so keep alive at great expense. 

These hides are usually sold to local storekeepers 
from whom the farmer buys his stores and are taken 
in part payment of the month's account. They are 
salted by the storekeeper and are either sent to the 
nearest hide auction or sold to dealers who scour the 
country in search of hides, and who in turn either 
sell to tanners direct or send to auction. 

From these dairying districts come the greater ma- 
jority of calfskins that are sold at auction or tanned 


by local tanners. Dairymen or dairy farmers usually 
kill off the bull calves soon after birth, unless they 
are from prize stock, when they are reared for stud 
purposes, often realizing big prices. 

Farmer Hides. 

The ordinary farmer also enters into the hide sup- 
ply. He usually keeps a few cattle for supplying his 
family wants and, perhaps, those of a few neighbors, 
killing enough to furnish them with beef, and milking 
enough cows to supply them with butter and milk. It 
is a very animated scene that meets the eye of the 
visitor to the hide auctions in the large centers of 
Australia, where the tanners and shippers of hides 
strive to secure each lot against keen competition. 

Australian Sheep. 

The sheep of Australia, being almost entirely of the 
Merino breed, are very small and are bred for the 
excellence of the wool, the skin being of quite a sec- 
ondary importance. This Merino wool is the very 
finest in the world and is a great source of wealth to 
Australia. Sheepskins are exported in great numbers, 
usually in the pickled state, also as basils. 

Australia is not considered a great fur country, al- 
though some furs are got from there, viz., the opossum, 
which is a very finely furred animal, the skin of which 
seems to be used more extensively in Europe of late 
years. Rabbit skins, of course, are exported in many 
millions from Australia. These animals, which were 
imported from England, have become such a scourge 
that whole tracts of country have been ruined by them, 
but some slight compensation is being sought in the 
exporting of these millions of skins, from which many 
kinds of the more expensive fur skins are imitated 
by the furriers of Europe and, doubtless, of America. 
The kangaroo is an animal wearing a valuable hide 
for shoe purposes, also for bookbinding and other 
things where light skins are used. 



Danish calfskins are among the best produced and 
are always in good demand in the United States. The 
skins obtainable in Denmark are mainly from Jutland 
and Sueland. Jutland calfskins come either green 
salted or sun-dried. The former weigh from five to 
nine pounds and are sold in two special selections as 
to weight, five to seven and seven to nine pounds. 
They are good, plump skins with a fine grain, are well 
taken off, have no meat and contain only about 40 
per cent butcher-cut skins. The latter come from the 
country districts. The shanks are trimmed three to 
four inches below the knees and about 50 per cent of 
the skins are headless. The Jutland district produces 
about 125,000 calfskins yearly. All Jutland stock is 
two-colored. The greatest demand for these skins 
comes from Eastern tanners in the United States and 
it is estimated that about 100,000 skins are purchased 
by these tanners each year. They are used for both 
colored and black finished calfskins. They are con- 
sidered better than most domestic skins and many 
tanners think them equal to the Swedish calfskins. 
Sun-dried calfskins range in weight from one and a 
half to three and a half pounds each and come into 
the market about 75 per cent stretched and 25 per 
cent unstretched. By stretching, it is understood that 
the skin, when first taken from the animal, was nailed 
to a wooden frame and dried. So far as condition is 
concerned, sun-dried are about equal to green salted. 

Sueland calfskins come all sun-dried and weigh from 
one and a half to three and a half pounds each. About 
10 per cent are headless. They are well taken off, 


free from meat and without butcher cuts. They are 
large and spready, but thin and flanky and, of course, 
do not bring as high prices as Jutland stock. This 
class of skins is used almost entirely for the cheaper 
grades of shoe leather. They are all one-colored skins, 
red-brown, and are known as "red calf" among all 
native collectors. They all come stretched, and during 
the past few years a big percentage of the imports 
to America have been used for fur purposes, being 
less costly than pony skins, while just as good for 
coat stock. The wet salted skins come to this country 
in bundles of ten and the dried calfskins in bales of 
120 to 125 skins. Calfskins from the large cities, such 
as Copenhagen and Denmark, are put in with the 
Jutland stock. 

In Denmark, vealskins are offered to the trade under 
two names, Danish veal and Copenhagen veal. Danish 
vealskins are selected from all parts of the country. 
In weight they range from 8 to 18 pounds. They all 
come with short shanks, tail bones and heads, only 
about 10 per cent being sold without heads. They 
have a very small percentage of butcher cuts, are rather 
flanky, but have a good grain. About 10 per cent of 
receipts are seconds. Copenhagen abattoir skins are 
all short shanks, tail bones and heads, except about 
10 per cent, which are sold without heads. The take- 
off is much better than the Danish skins, and they are 
handled with more care. They are particularly free 
from butcher cuts and are all fine, clean skins. They 
sell at ^c a pound more than the Danish skins. The 
weights are the same, 8 to 18 pounds. If not pur- 
chased from reliable dealers, there is likely to be a 
large percentage of grasses in the Danish veals, while 
in the Copenhagen selections there are no grasses. 
Both Danish and Copenhagen vealskins are used prin- 
cipally in Germany and the United States. All veals 
are green salted, and come to this country in bundles, 
six to the bundle. 



In late years the trade in pelts from New Zealand 
has increased at a rapid rate. Both English and 
American tanners are using more pelts from New 
Zealand, which are said to be equal to those taken off 
in other countries. The supply is large and the trade 
with New Zealand is becoming an important adjunct 
to the sheepskin industry. New Zealand pelts are 
generally suitable for the requirements of both Amer- 
ican and English tanners, but have their peculiarities. 

For instance, lambs raised in the Province of Can- 
terbury in the South Island of New Zealand are noted 
for their pelts of large spreading pattern with even 
substance. The Canterbury sheep pelts are mostly 
medium to light in substance, giving a medium to fair 
spread, and are most suitable for light work. The 
North Island of New Zealand is noted for producing 
some of the largest and best pelts exported from the 
country, most of these pelts being suitable for splitting 
and capable of giving in many instances 135 feet per 
dozen, producing also a perfect grain and flesher. 
However, there is a considerable loss due to the 
method of curing and treating by the sulphuric acid 

Methods of Take-Off. 

The skins are taken off the animals as soon as they 
are killed, and carefully washed. The wool is removed 
from practically all of the skins destined for the Amer- 
ican trade and pickled for export in a solution of salt 
and sulphuric acid. The American duty on wool ap- 
pears to make it disadvantageous to ship to the 
United States skins with the wool on. The wool is 


loosened by several different depilatory processes, 
either by sweating or by treatment with caustic soda 
and sulphur or sulphide of sodium. Considerable of 
the wool so removed, chiefly that around the edges of 
the skins, is usually injured by the use of these chem- 
icals, but this loss appears to be offset by a certain 
amount of increased weight in the pelts. As a rule, 
English trade seems to like the heavier pelts treated 
by chemicals, while the American trade prefers pelts 
from which the wool has been removed by sweating. 
In the New Zealand trade the term "pelts" always 
means the sheep or lamb skins without the wool. In 
the preparation of the skins before being pickled for 
export an ingenious American machine is used to 
scrape off all the fleshy surfaces. The demand for 
New Zealand lamb pelts from the United States is 
stronger than from any other country, and it is under- 
stood that the greater part of the pelts that go to Lon- 
don eventually find their way to the American mar- 
ket. The skins in addition to being tanned for sheep- 
skin upper leather are valuable for bookbinding, 
pocketbooks, bags, etc., and also for substitutes for 
various fancy and high-grade leathers. The cities of 
Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin are the chief 
centers of the export pelt trade in New Zealand. 


China produces both a dry and wet salted hide that 
are in quality about equal to the South American hides. 
The lots vary, if anything, more than the South Ameri- 
cans, but the best cared for hides in China are very 
good, while the poorest are very poor. These all go to 
Europe first and after Europe takes its supply the 
surplus comes to America. The values of these hides 
are always governed by North and South American 



Russia is the main source of supply of pony skins, 
largely used in the European and American trades. 
The yearly output averages about 150,000 skins, prin- 
cipally for furrier purposes, such as coats, leggings 
and coat linings. The skins come from \y 2 pounds to 
3^2 pounds in weight. They are all Mint-dried. In 
the summer they are dried out of doors in the sun, and 
in the winter are cured in drying houses by artificial 
heat. Winter skins are more or less long-haired and 
not as suitable for fur purposes as summer skins. The 
animals from which these skins arc derived are seldom 
more than fourteen days to two months old when 
killed. The meat of the ponies is eaten by the peasants 
throughout the country. Those skins come mostly 
from the districts of Petropoul and a few from Mos- 
cow. The mains and tails remain on the skins. They 
are trimmed with long shanks and all have the heads 
attached. Petropoul skins come with short shanks. 

The Selections. 

The selections on which pony skins are sold are 
based on weights, the length of hair, glossy and moire- 
affected skins. The take-off is not, as a usual thing, 
good, as the skins generally have butcher cuts, which 
do not matter when used for fur purposes. No other 
people except the Russian peasants use the meat of 
these animals for food when so young, consequently 
pony skins from other countries are taken from dead 
animals, and, as they are badly handled, are only fit 
for whip purposes. 


Most of the pony skins are sold at the Nijni Fair, 
which is held at Nijni Novgorod, tv.o hundred and 
seventy-six miles from Moscow, where the Volga and 
Oka rivers meet, and situated in almost the exact 
geographical center of Russia. As a rule, the buyers 
are London dealers, who purchase direct from the col- 
lectors at the fair. The skins are shipped direct to 
England as soon as collected. They come in a dry 
state, a hundred and fifty skins to a bundle. These 
skins are generally well cured and are sold to Amer- 
ican tanners on letters of credit. 

Russia Colt Skins. 

The principal producing sections for Russia colt 
skins are Petropoul, Tjumen and Siberia. They are 
taken from young horses from one to three years old. 
The meat, like that of the ponies, is used for eating 
purposes by the peasants of Russia and the poorer 
classes in some parts of Europe. The average kill 
each year runs from 400,000 to 600,000. Almost the 
entire output comes to American tanners. These skins 
are mostly flint-dried, with about 20 per cent brined 
before they are dried. The latter weigh more, but 
the strictly sun-dried are considered the best. The 
selections are according to weight, 7 to 8, 8 to 9 and 9 
to 10 pounds. Each skin is allowed five butcher cuts. 
If there are more than five cuts, it is a second. Skins 
with very bad cuts and sweated skins are classed as 
thirds. The length of hair has nothing to do with the 
selections. These skins are used principally for patent 
leather in the United States. In some countries of 
Europe the butts are used for the heads of expensive 
drums. The skins purchased at the Nijni Fair are 
received in America in bales of forty skins each. 

Colts or horses are raised in Russia the same as 
cows in America. The animals are herded the same 
as cows and most of the year are obliged to get their 
living by grazing. The peasants drink the milk of 


the female horses and, when killed, eat the meat. The 
winter colt skins are long-haired. 

Horse Fronts. 

In Russia horsehides, the fronts only come to Amer- 
ica, there being- no demand for cordovan leather. 
The butts are used principally by German and Polish 
tanners. The hides come from the same districts 
as the colt skins and the selections are the same. 
Collectors separate the fronts from the butts. All colt 
and horse hides coming from Petropoul are of better 
take-off and are better cured than those from other 
districts. They always bring from five to ten cents 
more per skin. Seconds are sold for 20 per cent less 
than firsts, and thirds bring half price. This is true 
of both colt and horse hides. Fronts come in bales, 
thirty to thirty-five in each. All have heads on and 
long shanks. The heavier selections of both are the 
best sellers. 

Scenes at the Nijni Fair 

which is held at 


2 75 miles from Moscow, Russia 



The skin or pelt of the common goat is a product 
which, outside of the trade, is not generally recog- 
nized at its true value. As a raw material it rates 
in importance among the chief imports into this 
country. Few people outside of the leather industry, 
however, are in any degree familiar with its uses. 

These are rather varied, but for the most part goat- 
skins are manufactured into a chrome tanned leather 
known as glazed kid. This probably consumes 90 
per cent of the skins imported. Other uses which 
may be mentioned are for patent or enameled kid, 
and mat or dull kid. These leathers are all used for 
shoe purposes. But goatskins are also used more 
or less extensively for furniture, bag and pocketbook 
and fancy leather. 

The Goat a Meat Animal. 

Goatskins are gathered chiefly from those countries 
in which the meat of the goat forms an important 
food product, and the skin of the animal is a result- 
ant by-product, though, to be sure, a very important 
one. In our own country, goat meat is not considered 
fit for human consumption, though we are credibly 
informed that considerable of it is sold in the guise of 
mutton and so-called Angora venison. For the rea- 
son stated, the United States produces only a small 
proportion of the vast number of skins which are 
daily put into process by manufacturers who special- 
ize in transforming the raw goatskin into its various 
5nished products. 

Sources of Goatskin Supply. 

The chief sources of supply are the Orient, Asia, 
Africa and South America. Nearly every country, 


however, with few exceptions, exports goatskins in 
greater or lesser quantities to the United States. 

As may be supposed, there is a vast difference in 
the character of the goat as it exists in each country. 
While these differences are clearly marked with refer- 
ence to the country of origin, the peculiar character- 
istics inherent in the skin of the goat may be clearly 
traced and localized within a very small compass, 
geographically speaking, so much so, that in certain 
countries, goatskins originating in districts which are 
not more than fifty miles apart, have certain dis- 
tinguishing features which plainly mark them one 
from the other. These characteristics are most often 
a result of the physical condition of the territory in 
which the animals are grown and pastured, and ani- 
mals from one section, if transferred to a different one. 
will gradually assume most of the characteristics of 
the goats originally bred in the new habitation, though 
several generations may be required to accomplish 
this. On the other hand, the original breed of goats 
which have been transplanted in some foreign country 
can often be traced back by virtue of their retention 
of certain peculiarities. 

Methods of Collecting and Preserving. 

We shall here describe in a general way the methods 
employed in collecting, handling and preserving goat- 
skins, as well as their general characteristics and sus- 
ceptibilities, and shall later detail this information 
in considering each producing country under a separate 

The following are the principal distinguishing fea- 
tures which mark the country and district of origin of 
the goat, as shown in its pelt : Size, pattern, length of 
hair, color of hair, and fineness of its texture; char- 
acter of grain and the nature of its imperfections. 
The characteristics just enumerated may be traced 
even after the skin has been manufactured into leather, 
excepting of course length of hair and its color. It 
is quite possible, however, for experienced handlers 


of goatskin leathers to form accurate conclusions re- 
specting the kind of skins out of which a given lot 
of leather was manufactured. Other features which 
are most noticeable in distinguishing skins as a class 
while yet in the raw state are the manner in which 
the skin has been flayed from the animal, and its 
subsequent mode of preservation, commonly known 
as cure. 

Methods of Curing. 

The ordinary methods employed for curing are as 
follows : Sun drying, dry salting and wet salting. The 
first method is very simple, and consists merely of 
spreading the skins out or hanging them up exposed 
to the sun, or, in some of the torrid countries, prefer- 
ably in the shade, until they are quite free from mois- 
ture. The second method is practically the same as 
the first, excepting that the fresh skins are first 
rubbed with salt before being dried. The third method 
necessitates a thorough rubbing of fine salt over the 
skins, which are allowed to remain moist and are 
folded into small bundles; that is, each skin separately, 
and then packed into casks. Certain advantages are 
claimed for each of these methods, though in general 
it may be stated that they are followed rather out of 
custom than for any other reason. 

Collecting the Skins. 

In most countries goats are not raised in large 
herds after the manner of our domestic cattle and 
sheep raising, but are mostly produced by reason of 
the individual ownership of one or several animals 
by the farmers or peasants. It can be readily under- 
stood that under such circumstances, countries such 
as India, China and Africa, with their teeming mil- 
lions, produce in the aggregate vast quantities of 
skins. These are gradually gathered by small col- 
lectors, from whose hands they pass into those of 
the larger dealers, and thus finally find their way to 
the larger markets where they are purchased by the 


exporting firms and shipped into the United States and 
other countries In many cases the gathering of these 
skins fro mthe more remote districts of countries such 
as China and Africa consumes many months of time 
and entails much labor and often hardship to those 
occupied in the task. 

Trade Affected by Seasons. 

The exportation of goatskins varies in most coun- 
tries with the season of the year, and, while in some 
countries a fairly constant supply is available through- 
out the year, in others the exports are largely in- 
creased at certain periods, and diminished at others. 
In others still, the exportation is done during some 
particular season, after which it ceases entirely until 
the following season. 

The season of the year, by which we mean the 
climatic conditions prevailing during that particular 
time, also bears an important influence on the na- 
ture of the skin and its superiority or inferiority of 
quality for manufacturing purposes. Again, unusual 
climatic conditions, such as drought or superabun- 
dance of rain, also create important changes in the 
character of the skins produced in the countries thus 
affected. It can, therefore, be readily seen that it is 
most important in considering goatskins in general, 
and particularly those coming from countries which 
are more largely affected by climatic conditions, to 
have in mind the season of the year and prevailing 
conditions as to whether normal or abnormal at the 
time of shipment. 

Long and Short Hair. 

As a general rule, in hot countries the hair of the 
animal is short and remains so at all times, due to 
the comparatively uniform heat prevailing throughout 
the year. Such countries are usually subject to a dry 
season and a rainy one, which, to be sure, affects the 
quality of the skins, but does not influence the hair. 
In cold climates, goats usually take on a longer 


growth of hair during the winter season and short 
hair during the summer season. In such countries, 
where the change is most pronounced, and more par- 
ticularly in the most northerly countries, it is cus- 
tomary to shear the hair from the goats after it has 
acquired full growth, as wool is shorn from sheep. 
The skins from the animals so shorn naturally have 
the characteristics of the long-haired animal, despite 
the absence of the full growth of hair. However, if 
the animal is not slaughtered during this period, the 
skin will improve in quality as the season progresses, 
and the animals receive the benefit of good pasturage. 
The growth of hair in such cold countries is usually 
accompanied by a sort of fine woolly undergrowth, 
which lies close to the skin and can be noticed by 
dividing or parting the hair. This undergrowth 
closely resembles and performs the same function of 
keeping the animal warm as does the fine under- 
growth of all fur-bearing animals. From the point of 
view respecting the influence of this undergrowth 
upon the quality of the skin and upon the leather 
manufactured therefrom, it may be said that in most 
cases and in fact nearly always, it is an undesirable 
feature, firstly, because the pelt under such condi- 
tions is generally lacking in substance, and there- 
fore produces thin leather; secondly, the character of 
the grain is more inclined to be "sheepy," which term 
is generally applied in the trade to denote that char- 
acteristic of the grain which gives it more of the 
quality and nature of the sheepskin than of the goat. 
The pores of the skin instead of being marked and 
distinct, as in a goat, are more difficult of discernment. 

Age of the Skins. 

Age is a feature which has a very important bear- 
ing on the value and desirability of raw pelts. As may 
be naturally supposed, the fresher the skin, the more 
desirable it is for leather purposes, and the more 
apt it is to be capable of being tanned with the best 


results. Age, as here applied, does not refer to the 
age of the animal, but to the length of time which 
has elapsed since the slaughtering of the goat. A 
reasonable amount of age does not materially affect 
this point, excepting in such skins as have been cured 
or preserved in a manner other than dry salting or 
sun drying. Some skins, which will be mentioned later, 
are cured with a mixture of salt and manure. Others 
are imported in a wet-salted condition, and others 
again come from countries where salt is employed in 
their curing which has a peculiar propensity for ab- 
sorbing moisture. Such skins, if allowed to remain 
in a damp place, will gradually absorb moisture and 
become more or less wet. In this condition they are 
liable to sweat and heat. All of the aforementioned 
varieties should be comparatively fresh to obtain good 
results, and by this we mean that they should not 
be allowed to remain in a raw condition for a period 
over one year from time of curing, though no general 
rule can be laid down to cover this point, as a great 
many varying conditions exist which might have a 
large bearing or influence in particular cases. Flint 
or sun-dried and dry-salted skins may often be kept 
for long periods, covering three or four years, and 
even longer, provided the skins are properly preserved, 
without being materially injured thereby. However, 
such skins which are by nature more impregnated 
with natural grease or fat are more apt to suffer than 
those which are of a drier and more fibrous nature. 

Use of Naphthaline. 

All skins, and particularly flint-dried skins, which 
it is intended to keep in storage for a period of time, 
should be thoroughly strewn with naphthaline for 
the purpose of preventing moths and worms or bugs 
from making depredations upon them, as well as to 
prevent them from heating in the bales. Fresh skins 
which are sun-dried and packed in compressed bales 


are almost certain to heat if naphthalene is not strewn 
between the skins. 

Arsenicated Skins. 

In some countries the skins are arsenicated, that is, 
dipped in a solution of arsenic, which is also a good 
method of preventing their destruction by vermin. It 
must be carefully borne in mind, however, that it is 
not desirable to permit any kind of skin to become 
thus aged before manufacture, as more difficulty will 
then be experienced in securing good results, owing 
to the drying out of the natural fats in the skin, and 
a consequent weakening of the fiber. 

Goatskins of the World. 

In the following chapters we shall take up in- 
dividually and consider separately each goatskin- 
producing country in detail. It must be borne in mind, 
however, that inasmuch as almost every country and 
province produces some goatskins for the purposes 
of the general information which we are seeking to 
convey, only those countries whose production is of 
importance will be dealt with. In some cases the 
number of skins produced are entirely used for home 
consumption and are seldom if ever exported to America. 

The reader should also bear in mind that very often 
the identical skins are known under several different 
names. Some sellers designate them by the name 
of the province from which they come, while others 
apply to them the name of the district or even the 
chief city in the district where they may have been 
gathered. This may be somewhat confusing to the 
uninitiated, but, in case of doubt, a glance at the map 
will make things clear. 

Concerning weights and selections, only those which 
are of major importance will be noted; that is to say, 
those which go to make up the bulk of the assort- 
ments. There are always small percentages of skins 
which are kept separately and may or may not be 
included in shipments, which, however, constitute 


but negligible proportions of the whole, such as kids, 
thirds, fourths, bulls, long-haired, etc. In such cases, 
where any of these grades are contained in important 
percentages, they will be mentioned. 


The goatskins produced in this country are well 
known as being of high class in every particular. The 
breed of Spanish goat has been transplanted into 
various countries, particularly in certain sections of 
North Africa, such as Algeria and neighboring coun- 
tries, as well as in some Spanish-American coun- 
tries, and the resultant stock in these countries is good, 
and many of the features of the skins bespeak their 
Spanish origin. Even in so comparatively small a 
country as Spain, considerable differences are to be 
noted in the quality as produced in its various districts. 

The best skins are obtained in the provinces of 
Valencia, Catelonia, Barcelona and Seville, and the 
provinces adjacent to the Mediterranean coast. The 
provinces lying to the north — Leon and Castille — 
are also considered among the best for quality. All 
of these districts consist chiefly of white-haired and 
faun-colored skins. The district of Estremadura, ly- 
ing on the Portuguese border, is somewhat inferior in 
quality; the skins are inclined to be thinner in sub- 
stance and in general character not quite up to the 
first-mentioned districts. This is also due to the 
practice of mixing in skins coming from the Portu- 
guese side, in which the last-named deficiencies in 
quality are much more pronounced. 

The Estremadura skins contain a preponderance of 
black and dark colored skins, and contain a propor- 
tion of slightly longish-haired skins. It must be under- 
stood that the comparison just made is as between 
districts only, while, in general, all of these skins taken 
together, represent one of the best classes of skins 


obtainable. The Spanish skin is noted for its clear, 
fine grain, and is particularly free from imperfections. 
The skin is of good plump texture. The skins are 
well flayed from the animals and bear no evidences 
of cuts or scores. They are cut open and folded once 
down the back. "• cure, they are flint-dried, barring 
a small proportioi which usually come salted. 

The skins are usually classified for quality into 
prime and second selections, and for weight into heav- 
ies weighing about 14/15 kilos per dozen, and regulars 
weighing io/ioy 2 kilos per dozen. The smaller skins 
from the younger animals, known as Chevrettes, are 
also classified as primes and seconds, and weigh about 
73^/8 kilos per dozen. In addition to these, there are 
also the small kids, which are used for glove leather 
purposes, and a selection of extra heavies, which weigh 
about 17/18 kilos, and which are mostly used for furniture 
leather purposes. 


Here we have another high-class European skin, 
which for the most part is used in the country of 
origin. This is particularly true of the best qualities ; 
the ordinary practice in classifying these skins is, in 
the first place, to separate the heaviest and finest skins, 
which constitutes the best selection, and for which 
fancy prices are obtained from manufacturers of fancy 
leathers, such as pocketbook, bag and furniture leather. 
The remaining skins are classified into grades known 
as A, B, C, which correspond to firsts, seconds and 
thirds, and are also known as American selection, these 
goods having been thus classified for sale to American 
tanners. The weight of these skins is about 
220/260 lbs. There are also the heberlinge or light 
goat and kids, which weigh 100 lbs. 

In recent years fewer of these skins have been com- 
ing to the American market each year, owing to en- 
hanced values, which have precluded their use for 
glazed kid purposes. In general, the leather which 
they produce is clear and fine grain, though they 


yield a considerable percentage of lightweight leather, 
owing to the fact, as stated above, that the plumper 
skins have already been taken out in the first instance. 
The skins are prepared flint-dried, cut open and 
folded once. The hair is short and mostly white. 


The skins produced in this country may be divided 
under two main heads, northern and southern. The 
northern skins are the better class and embrace the 
districts of Rome, Tuscany and those districts lying 
to the north thereof. These skins are flint-dried and 
are selected into primes and seconds. They yield 
good weight leather and are fairly clean on the grain. 
In general they are considered among the better classes 
of European skins. They are short haired, though a 
few skins may be found with slightly longish manes 
and butts. The southern provinces, embracing Na- 
ples, Puglia, Calabria and the Island of Sicily, pro- 
duce skins of considerably inferior quality to those 
in the north. The Sicilian skins are also known as 
Messinas and Palermos, these being the chief cities 
from which they are exported. In general they are lighter 
pelted and more defective on the grain than the north- 
ern skins, the chief grain defects being pits and grubs. 
The hair is rather longish, and not as fine as the bet- 
ter distrcts. The Calabrian and Sicilian skins are 
for the most part dry salted, while the other kinds 
are partly flint and partly salted. The flint skins 
weigh about 30/38 lbs., and the salted 28/35 lbs. P er 

Austria-Hungary and the Balkan Countries. 

Large quantites of skins originate from this sec- 
tion of southern Europe, and are much varied as 
to character and appearance ; though categorically 
starting with the best variety, they grade downward 
from a Servian or Belgrade skin, which is a very fine 
quality and very desirable from every standpoint, 


being of good weight and substance and fine and 
clear grain, to the inferior qualities coming from the 
Grecian country. Servian skins a:\> limited as to 
quantity, and, owing to the similarity of appearance, 
a great many skins of inferior districts are sold under 
this name. Next to the Servians come Bosnian and 
Croatian skins, which are slightly inferior in character 
to the former, the chief difference being that they are 
not quite as plump in substance and carry more de- 
fects as to grain. A small percentage of pitted skins, 
which are inherent in skins coming from the Balkan 
states, may be found in these skins, but only to a 
very small extent. The ordinary weight of the goods 
is 320/350 lbs. per 100 pieces. 

Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegro, Thessalian and 
Ordinary Greek Skins. 

These are mentioned in rotation in the order of 
worth, and are more or less similar in character, but 
the last kinds are very much more pitted than the 
first; in fact, Thessalian and Greek skins are prac- 
tically entirely pitted. The above-mentioned varie- 
ties, including the Servian, Croatians, etc., are all cured 
in the same manner. The skins are flint dry and are 
taken off the animal in such a manner that the skins 
remain cased — that is, not cut open — and are stretched 
in the length. It is a general practice to insert pieces 
of wood at the shoulders and at the butt, presumably 
for the purpose of stretching the skins for drying. In 
many cases this wood is far heavier than necessary 
for the purpose, and is done in order to enhance the 
weight, so that it is an important factor, when buying 
any of these skins, to stipulate the percentage of wood 
which they contain, as otherwise the average weight 
stated is misleading and may consist of 25 per cent or 
more of wood. The ordinary percentage of wood for 
such skins as Sicilians, Macedonians and Montenegros 
is 10/15 per cent; the better kinds, as previously men- 
tioned, contain very little wood, only light twigs be- 


ing used for stretching purposes, instead of heavy 
sticks. The pitted skins among these classes, particu- 
larly in the intermediate kinds, such as Montenegros 
and Macedonians, occur for the most part in the 
necks of the skins, and are most often localized in a 
small compass in that section of the skin, the balance 
of the skin being clear and free from imperfections. 

In the Greek skins, which are more seriously af- 
fected, these pits are more general over the entire 
skin, though in the former kinds they are chiefly lo- 
calized at the neck. Tanners in this country are ac- 
customed to designate skins from these districts as 
"sore necks." 

The Greek and Thessalian skins have no heads, while 
the other kinds have the heads left on. The weights 
are : Bulgarian, flint, about 320 lbs., salted, 400 lbs. ; 
Macedonian, 330/340 lbs.; Thessalian, 280/300 lbs.; 
Montenegros, 300/320 lbs. ; Greeks, 330/350 lbs. 

Bulgarian, Roumelian and Adrianople Skins. 

These are chiefly dry salted, though the supplies 
from the western parts of these districts are flint-dried 
and in general appearance similar to the above de- 
scribed. The dry salted skins are of entirely different 
appearance, being cut open and stretched in the or- 
dinary way, and simply folded down the back. The 
leather produced by these districts is similar in char- 
acter to the other kind and subject to the same de- 
fects. In hair they are short to slightly medium, 
and in color, mostly dark and black. Classifying them 
with reference to their comparative worth, they would 
be placed in the following order : Bulgarian, Roume- 
lian and Adrianople. 

The skins coming from the western part of the 
Balkan Peninsula, including the Greek, Thessalian, 
Albanian and Montenegro provinces, as well as the 
Bosnian, Croatian and Servian skins, usually find their 
way to the port of Trieste, and are exported to the 
United States from that port. Most of the Macedonian 


skins, as well as some of the Greek skins, are shipped 
from Salonica; the Adrianoples from Dedeagatch, and 
the Roumelians and Bulgarians respectively from 
Bourgas and Varna. The weights of Roumelians and 
Adrianoples is 320 to 340 lbs. per 100 pieces. 


The skins originating in the various provinces of 
Turkey in Asia are known in the trade under the 
general title of Levant goatskins. In character, they 
are inferior to the better classes of skins coming from 
the Balkan provinces, being coarser in grain and tex- 
ture. They are drysalted and cured and the skins are 
cut open and folded flat. The skins are mostly black- 
haired and of a coarser texture than any before de- 
scribed, and while not considered as longhaired, it is 
nevertheless of longer growth than most European 
kinds, and also subject to a slight undergrowth. 

On the Mediterranean side, we have the Smyrna, 
Konieh, Anatolian and Aleppo districts, the quality of 
which is somewhat superior to the districts lying to the 
north on the Black Sea coast, including Trebizond and 
Erzerum. The above described skins produce leather 
of fair weight, though of coarse grain, and are sub- 
ject more or less to pits and grubs. Levant skins, 
using the general title, usually weigh about 330/390 
lbs. per 100 pieces. 

To the southeast, lies the district of Bagdad, which 
in quality is inferior to any of the districts of this sec- 
tion. In fact, they might preferably be considered in 
conjunction with Persian skins produced along the 
Gulf section of that country, to which they are similar 
in nature. They are coarse, defective in grain, and 
produce low-grade leather. They are also drysalted, 
and the hair is longish and black in color. The takeoff 
is different from most of the Levant province skins, be- 
ing cased and stretched, rather to the length than the 


breadth of the skin. The usual weight is about 33/39 
lbs. per dozen. 


This is one of the largest goatskin-producing coun- 
tries, especially so when considered as embracing the 
whole of the Russian Empire, including Siberia and 
Central Asia. The supplies are chiefly brough: to the 
fairs, which are annually held at Tjumen and Nijni, 
Novgorod, and are collected and also sold in the mar- 
kets of Petropawlowsk, Orenburg, Kazan, and Semi- 
palatinsk. The ordinary Russian goat is known to the 
trade as Petropawl goat, the city of that name being 
the largest point of collection. In addition to this 
kind, there are two other main varieties of skins 
shipped from Russia — Turkestans and Bokharas. 

Petropawl Goat 

This description is the best of the Russian varieties 
which are shipped in quantities to this country, not 
considering, of course, a small quantity of skins as 
compared to the whole, which are collected in Euro- 
pean Russia, and which are superior to the Siberian 
skins. Petropawl goatskins are flint-dried and mostly 
white and light haired. The shorthaired or summer 
skins are plump weight and yield very desirable 
leather. The winter skins are longhaired and have a 
woolly undergrowth ; in consequence, the pelt is thin- 
ner and therefore not as desirable. In buying these 
skins, one is compelled, however, to assume a propor- 
tionate quantity of all weights and selections. The 
goat are classified as follows : Primes, weighing 38/40 
lbs. per dozen; winter, weighing 48 lbs. per dozen; 
salted, of which there is usually a small proportion, 
weighing 37/38 lbs. per dozen, and seconds, weighing 
33/35 lb s - The skins are further classified for size 
and weight, as follows : Werchural, prime and 
seconds, weighing about 25 lbs. ; Mittel, prime seconds 
and winter, weighing respectively about 20 lbs., 18/19 


lbs. and 26 lbs. ; Lack, which are virtually kids and 
weigh about 12 lbs. per dozen. 

Russian skins are best and most valuable for manu- 
facturing purposes if quite fresh. In this condition 
they are soft and contain a great deal of natural grease. 
If old and stale, they are harder to handle in the tan- 
nery and are very apt to be grain cracked. In general, 
the Petropawl skins are fine in grain, considering the 
size of the skins, and free from imperfections. 

Turkestan Goat. 

These skins, if true to their kind, are very similar to 
the Petropawls, though not quite as good in class. 
They are somewhat coarser haired, and have more 
pronounced grain. The general description of quality 
and selections of Petropawl goat, as above described, 
would also apply in a general way to Turkestans, with 
the exception that the latter are somewhat lighter in 

Bokhara Goat. 

These skins are coarser and more imperfect than 
Turkestans, and subject to more imperfections of the 
grain. A great many skins are brought into this sec- 
tion which had their origin in Afghanistan and North- 
ern Persia. They are prepared after the pattern of 
Bokhara skins and have, therefore, the same general 
appearance as the latter. This is to a great extent 
responsible for the low quality of the goods, whereas 
genuine Bokhara skins are really of very fair quality. 
The goods are shorthaired and mostly black. They 
are selected as primes and seconds, weighing about 30/33 
lbs., and mittel, weighing about 20 lbs. 



There are three main shipping ports in this country 
where goatskins are collected and shipped, namely: 
Algiers, Constantine and Oran. These skins are all 


of similar character, though each has some character- 
istics peculiar to itself. In appearance, Algiers' goat- 
skins are very similar to Constantine's. It would be 
difficult to distinguish them. The latter are considered 
a shade better in quality. Orans, in the general way, 
are also similar to the first kinds, but are not as well 
taken off the animals by the butchers, and may be dis- 
tinguished by a tendency to contain a considerable per- 
centage of more or less scored or butcher-cut skins. 
The grain of the skins is fine and clean and the leather 
produced therefrom is of good substance. In prepara- 
tion they are cased and cured by drysalting. The 
hair is fine and in summer time quite short. The win- 
ter season skins are longer haired and the general 
quality inferior, being thinner pelted, and not as clean 
grain. In color, they contain a fair proportion of 
white-haired skins and some brown and black. Oran 
skins are considered the less valuable of the three sorts 
owing to the defect above described. They are usually 
classified in three weights, heavies, weighing about 
12/13 kilos; middle, weight, io/io T / 2 kilos per dozen, 
and lights, weighing about 8/9 kilos per dozen. For 
quality the usual selection is for primes and seconds, 
though some shippers have an intermediate selection. 


From this country skins are shipped from the ports 
of Tunis and Sfax, the general character of which is 
quite similar. They are of the same nature as Al- 
gerian skins, but somewhat inferior to them, being not 
quite so fine in grain and having less substance in the 
pelt. In other particulars, they approximate them suf- 
ficiently not to require further comment. 


This country produces fairly large quantities of skins 
which are principally collected at Tripoli and Bengazi. 
In general character, they are plump, fine grained, and 
produce desirable leather. They have rather longer 


hair than any of the above described skins, the color 
of which is mostly brown and black. They are 
mostly prepared drysalted, which cure is of a darker 
color than the salting of Algerian skins. There is 
also a quantity of flint-dried skins shipped from this 
country. The salted skins are cased while the flint- 
dry ones are mostly cut open. They are classified for 
weight, same as Tripoli and Algiers. 


Of the skins produced in this country those coming 
from the northern section are the best, and of a 
character similar to the Mediterranean countries of 
North Africa. The best known among these are the 
Tangiers and Fez skins. These skins are fine haired, 
short to medium in length, and mostly of reddish- 
brown color. They are of an earthy salt cure, brown- 
ish in color, and the skins are cased. They are like- 
wise subject to change in character in accordance 
with the summer and winter seasons, summer skins 
being the best and producing the most satisfactory 
leather. The weights are io/n kilos. 

From the southwestern section are shipped the 
qualities known as Casablancas, Mogadores and Mar- 
rakesh. Of these, the Casablancas are the superior 
skins. There are two kinds of Casablanca skins, 
which are designated respectively as red cured and 
gray cured. The red-cured skins are mostly cased 
and partake of the characteristics of the Tangier 
or Fez skins, though not equal to them in general 
quality, being longer haired and having more grain 
imperfections. The gray skins are similar in quality 
to Mogadore skins. 


This variety is much inferior to any of the pre- 
viously-described North African skins, and are in 
character quite dissimilar to them, and in appearance 
as well. Marrakesh skins are to all intents and pur- 
poses identical to Mogadores, but are usually some- 


what better in general quality, due to the fact that 
they contain city-slaughtered skins, which have more 
weight and substance. The skins are cut open and 
are cured with a mixture of salt and camel manure. 
They are dirty in appearance on the hair side as 
well as the flesh, and heavily weighted by the cure. 
Summer skins have rather short hair and the winter 
skins longish. The latter are quite inferior in quality, 
being thin pelted and severely grain damaged. This 
damage is largely due to fly bites, with which the 
skins are more or less marked. The hair is rather 
fine in texture and of a reddish-brown color. The 
usual weights in which they are classified range from 
28/33 lbs. per dozen. 

In buying skins of these districts, particular at- 
tention should be paid to the freshness of the goods, as 
they deteriorate materially with age owing to the 
nature of their cure. 

Egypt and the Soudan. 

In character the skins produced in this country are 
different from other North Africans and should, per- 
haps, not be classed with them ; in fact, in the trade, 
they are not considered in connection with North 
Africans. These skins are cased and cured by dry- 
salting. The hair is mostly black and short during 
the summer, when the skins are at their best, and in 
winter they are longhaired and thin pelted. The char- 
acter of the leather which they produce is fine in 
grain but rather flanky. The grain is quite clean 
and free from imperfections. These goods are 
marketed principally in Cairo and Alexandria. The 
usual weights and selections are as follows : I heavy, 
230 lbs.; I medium, 160 lbs.; I lights, 125 lbs.; I smalls, 
100 lbs.; II, 100/120 lbs. 


Skins in this section are generally known in the 
trade under the general title of Capes. There are 
three classes which, naming them in the order of their 


comparative value, are as follows : Capetowns, Al- 
goabays and Kaffirs. These are gathered and shipped 
from, respectively, Capetown, Port , Elizabeth and 
East London. Though some shippers are now send- 
ing them direct from South Africa to this market, the 
usual custom has been to ship them all to London 
and sold there at periodic auction sales. The Cape- 
town and Algoabay skins are in general character 
and quality superior to the Kaffir skins. 

Capetown Skins. 

These are considered as a class among the best 
qualities of goatskins. They are good to fine grain 
according to their size, shorthaired and plump weight. 
In cure they are slightly brined ; they are short- 
trimmed and packed flat with no folding. The hair is 
mostly white and light colored. 

Algoabay Skins. 

These are in general character similar to the Cape- 
towns, but slightly inferior in general quality. They are 
somewhat heavier cured, being rather salted than brined. 
The hair is also a trifle longer and less smooth. 

Kaffir Skins. 

Kaffir skins are decidedly inferior to the above 
districts. They are darker in appearance, more heav- 
ily cured with salt, and have longer and shaggier hair. 
The pelt does not carry the weight which is to be 
found in the Capetowns and Algoabays, and the goods 
will yield less measure per pound of pelt when made 
into leather. They are packed in a similar manner 
to the first-mentioned varieties. 


These two countries will be considered together 
because of the fact that while they lie on opposite 
shores of the Red Sea, the supplies from both sections 
are usually brought from the interior and coast points 


of these countries, to the city of Aden, which lies 
just beyond the southern entrance to the Red Sea on 
the Arabian side. Furthermore, the skins are more or 
less of similar character, and are usually worked by 
the same manufacturers. In the trade these skins are 
known under the general name of Mochas. We shall 
first describe the skins coming from the Arabian side. 
Of these, the best known are the Hodeidah skins. 
These skins are produced in the Yemen province and 
are very often shipped direct from the port of Ho- 
deidah without being first brought to the Aden market. 
A great many skins from the Yemen province, and 
especially so from the southeastern part, find their 
way to Aden by means of caravans from the interior 
and by small native boats from the coast points. 
These skins are known as Katabi or Gataway and 
are altogether similar, both in appearance and actual 
worth, to the skins collected at Hodeidah. They are 
cased and of a drysalt cure. The hair is quite short 
and fine and in color mostly white and black. They 
produce fine-grained leather, but are more or less 
subject to grain scratches and are also slightly pitted. 
The assortment made by most shippers is as follows : 
Heavies, weighing about 2/2]/^ lbs. apiece, and regu- 
lars, which constitute the bulk, averaging i% lbs. 
apiece. Seconds, weighing i/io to 1/15 lbs. In addi- 
tion to these main selections, there are also long-hairs, 
kids and thirds. 

Gizan and Jaddah. 

These districts constitute the next in importance 
in point of quantity to the Yemen skins and are very 
similar to them in general character. In appearance, 
they differ slightly in color and cure, which though 
also drysalted, has a slightly reddish tinge. The hair 
of these skins is also mostly reddish or light brown- 
ish. The salting is smoother in appearance and not 
quite as heavy. These skins are subject to the same 
sort of defects as the Hodeidahs, the pits in these 


skins being more or less concentrated about the butts. 
Weights and selections are the same as in Hodeidahs. 

To the east of Aden lies the country known as the 
Hadramut, from which supplies of comparatively 
small quantities are received in Aden. These skins 
are of inferior type, being mostly thin in pelt. In 
appearance, they are the drysalted and cased, but are 
more carefully spread. They are extremely short- 
haired, which is mostly white. These skins are some- 
times known as Salted Adens. The real Aden butcher 
skins are, as the name indicates, from the animals 
slaughtered in the city, and are usually of superior 
quality, being taken from better-nourished animals. 
These skins are prepared both flint and brined cure. 

We shall now describe the districts on the African 


This is probably the largest producing section of 
Mocha skins. The skins are mostly gathered in the 
interior of the country, the best-known variety being 
known as Herrar skins. They are collected in the 
cities of Herrar and Addis Abeba, and thence trans- 
ported by means of caravan and railroad to the coast, 
whence they are shipped across to Aden. These skins 
are flint-dried, cut open and staked out so that they 
are quite smooth and flat. They are folded along the 
back. The hair of these skins is quite short and fine 
and of mixed colors. The assortment is for firsts, 
seconds and thirds, there being usually a large pro- 
portion of seconds, which sometimes even exceeds 
the quantity of firsts. Prime skins are usually put up 
to average from 1.15 to 1.25 lbs. per piece, and the 
seconds 1 to 1.10, thirds .90 to 1 lb. per piece. The 
leather produced from these skins is of good weight 
and fine in grain, also fairly clear of imperfections. 
There is a tendency, however, to the loss in works 
of a proportion ranging sometimes as high as 10 per 
cent, though in average not over 4 to 5 per cent. 



This is the port from which the skins produced in 
the northern part of Abyssinia are shipped to Aden 
and the skins of this section are known by that 
name. Those which originate in the interior section 
are very similar to the Herrar skins just described, 
so much so, in fact, that they may be considered in 
conjunction with them. They are somewhat cleaner 
in appearance, being freer from fat and flesh and, 
perhaps, slightly better tacked out. Those skins which 
originate nearer to the coast are of somewhat differ- 
ent character, being chunkier and somewhat coarser. 
They are prepared both flint-dry, opened and cased 
and drysalted cased. They weigh as follows : flint- 
dry, i. 20/1. 25 lbs. per piece; salted, 1. 35/1. 40 lbs. per 

Somali Land. 

The skins produced in this section are commonly 
known as Berberahs. They are collected along the 
Somali coast, the best skins coming from the towns 
of Berberah, Bulhar and Zeila and their surrounding 
country. The appearance of these skins and the man- 
ner in which they are dried is peculiar to themselves. 
They are flint-dried and mostly cased; they are 
stretched in the length in such a manner that the 
body of the skin is shrunk together. The skins are 
nearly all white haired and exceedingly short haired. 
The Berberah skin is the most highly valued of all 
Mocha skin, as it produces leather of plump weight, 
fine grain and texture. Its natural defect is chiefly 
brier scratches on the grain, but not to any great ex- 

The skins coming from the northeastern coast of 
Italian Somali Land are similar to the above de- 
scribed, but inferior in quality to them. They are 
lighter colored, drier in feel and much more defect- 
ive on the grain. All skins coming from Somali Land 
contain a proportion of skins which have been branded 


by the natives. In some cases these brands are very 
large. Such skins should of course be found in the 
lower grades. These skins are ordinar :i y classified as 
primes, seconds and heavies. The primes weigh 
to 1.25 lbs. per piece; the seconds 1 to 1.05 lbs. per 

There is usually a small percentage of skins among 
these which are cut open, and which may be packed 
separately and weigh slightly less than the cased 


From the southern part of the Somali Coast are 
gathered goatskins which bear a strong resemblance 
in character to Berberas. In appearance, however, 
they are totally unlike them, being drysalted, and while 
also cased, they have a different form, being dried in 
their natural shape. The hair of these skins is white 
and extremely short. They produce good fine grain 
leather but contain a percentage of tainted skins. 
They usually weigh about 1. 30/1. 40 lb. average. In 
selection they are classified as first, seconds and 
thirds, and usually consist of a large proportion of the 
last two kinds. Owing to the fact that the Port of 
Mogdishur, from which these skins are shipped, has 
no good harbor, it is only possible to ship them during 
October to May, when the seas are quiet. 


This title is given to those skins which are produced 
in British and German East Africa or Uganda. Since 
the opening of the Uganda Railway, these skins are 
brought to the market in large quantities from the 
interior. They are collected chiefly about the Lake 
regions and thus afford transportation to the railway 

These skins are cut open, flint dried, staked out tight 
and folded once for packing purposes. In appearance 
they are similar to Herrar skins previously described. 

The hair is short and of mixed colors. The leather 


which is produced by these skins is plump to fair 
weight and good grained and fairly clear. The classi- 
fication is for first, seconds and thirds, usually con- 
sisting of 40 per cent to 50 per cent of firsts and bal- 
ance seconds and thirds. 

These skins usually lose from from 3 per cent to 15 
per cent in the works, which skins cannot be detected 
in the raw. This unfavorable feature is thought to be 
due to improper drying of the fresh skins. 


A small quantity of skins is shipped from this 
region. They are cased and drysalted, but not of suf- 
ficient importance to warrant special mention. 


This is the most important country of the world in 
point of the production of goatskins, its shipments ag- 
gregating upwards of 30 per cent of the entire world's 
production. Besides the skins exported, in the raw, 
large quantities are manufactured locally into a bark 
tannage by native tanners. These skins are known as 
"India tanned" and are produced chieriy in Madras and 
some other Southern India cities, and also in Bombay. 

Goatskins are produced in all parts of India, the 
largest quantities coming from the provinces of the 
Ganges Valley. The character of them in general is 
what is commonly known as "hard natured," or in 
other words firm, close fibered and containing less 
natural fats than what is known as "soft natured 
skins." such as European, etc. 


The best known of India skins is the so-called Patna ; 
indeed, Indian skins in general are very often known 
in the leather trade as Patnas, even though they may 
originate in districts quite remote from the Patna 
region. They derive their name from the city of like 


name in the Province of Bengal. All skins, however, 
from the district of Behar are known by that name. 

^hese skins are of fine grain and practically free 
from imperfections, with the exception of one fault, 
common to all skins of Northern India. This consists 
of small' holes which penetrate the skin, though not 
always entirely, and which are chiefly concentrated 
along the backbone and near the neck. 


They are known as "Pokahs" and are caused by in- 
sects which deposit their eggs under the epidermis of 
the animals, causing small sores which develop into 
holes. This defect is principally evident during the 
hot and rainy season about May to December. Dur- 
ing this period the general quality of all Northern 
India skins is at its lowest ebb, and not only are the 
skins more prone to grain defects, but also become 
thinner in pelt substances. 

Dinajpores and Daccas. 

To the East of Patna lies that section between the 
Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers whence come the Din- 
ajpore skins, and from the vicinity of the lower part of 
the latter river we receive the skins known as Daccas, 
both of these taking their names from the main cities 
of their respective districts. These last two kinds are 
of a superior quality to the common type of Patnas, 
being somewhat plumper in nature, and cleaner 

Regular Patna goat are shipped principally dry- 
salted. In this type of cure the skins are first cut open 
and then tacked out very closely, the skin being 
stretched to the utmost. The salt is then thoroughly 
rubbed on, and the skins allowed to dry. When 
shipped flint dried, which is rather uncommon, they are 
treated in a similar manner, with the exception of the 
salting process. Dinajpores and Daccas are cured dry- 
salted, and are not tacked out in the manner of Patnas. 


the overstretching being eliminated. Patnas are also 
shipped in a wetsalted condition, though only com- 
paratively small quantities are thus prepared. In pre- 
paring wetsalted skins, they are almost always allowed 
to remain in their cased condition, and when still quite 
fresh, are thoroughly rubbed with a mixture of khari 
and common salt. They are then folded together and 
packed in casks for shipment. Khari salt is an earthy 
substance, which possesses cooling properties, and pre- 
serves the skins remarkably well. Trouble is some- 
times experienced upon the arrival of wetsalted skins 
at their port of destination, and especially so in winter 
time, on account of the freezing or hardening of the 
contents of the casks. This is easily overcome, how- 
ever, by placing them in a hot room for three or four 
days, when they will become quite soft and moist 

Wetsalted skins also cause trouble due to what is 
known as hair slipping. This is really a beginning of 
decomposition, which usually affects the grain and 
causes a "flowering." Almost always this is due not 
to any fault of the cure, but to the fact that the skins 
were not cured quickly enough after the animal was 

Kushtias and Daissees. 

The district around the estuary of the Ganges river 
produces the best skins coming from India. They are 
known as Kushtias and Calcutta Daissees. They are 
in most respects similar to the above described, but are 
superior to them in fineness of grain, freeness from 
imperfections, and plumpness of pelt. Of the two 
Kushtias are the better, the qualities just mentioned 
being more pronounced in them. These kinds are also 
shipped in a wetsalted condition. 

The drysalted skins from all of the districts above 
mentioned are brought to the Calcutta market, where 
they are sold in the local bazaar to the various export- 
ing firms. They are usually selected into firsts, seconds 
and rejects. They are classified as to weights as fol- 


lows : Extra heavies, 850/950 lb. per 500 pieces ; 
heavies, 700/750 lb. per 500 pieces ; mediums, 500/575 
lb. per 500 pieces; lights, 400/475 lb. per 500 pieces; 
smalls, 300/350 lb. per 500 pieces; kids, 250/300 lb. per 
500 pieces; heavy seconds, 750/850 lb. per 500 pieces; 
medium seconds, 450/500 lb. per 500 pieces. 

The wetsalted skins from these districts, and in fact 
from all districts, are packed according to measure- 
ment, the skins being measured from the butt to the 
throat cut. They are classified as follows : 40 inches 
and over ; 36/40 inches ; 32/36 inches ; and 28/32 inches. 
Seconds in the same manner. 

Oudhs and Agras. 

To the west of the regions above described lie the 
North West Provinces; this district may be sub- 
divided into the districts of Oudh and Agra; from 
these sections the skins are shipped principally wet- 
salted, as described in the foregoing. The manner 
of packing is the same, with the exception that in sizing 
the standard adopted differs to the extent that the 
smallest size runs from 28/33 inches instead of 28/32 
inches, and the next size therefore from 33/36 inches 
instead of 32/36 inches. The Oudh skins, which are 
chiefly gathered in Lucknow and Cawnpore, are simi- 
lar to the Patna skins, but not as good in general 
quality. They are somewhat longer in hair and are 
more pokah marked. The general shape of the skins 
is long and narrow. Compared to these the skins com- 
ing from the Agra section are broader patterned but 
less plump and coarser grain. The hair is longer still, 
especially at the butts. All of these skins are at times 
shipped drysalted. This is accomplished simply by 
drying out the wet skins. 


This is a very large district, and produces large 
quantities of skins. They are almost entirely shipped 
drysalted ; in fact, are received in the principal market, 
which is Amritsar, in this condition, and are also known 


under the name of that city. To this place are gath- 
ered skins from a wide spread of territory, ranging 
from Cashmere on the north to Sindh and Rajputana 
on the south. The character of these skins is quite 
different from those previously described. They have 
a tendency to thinness, and the animals are larger and 
coarser than those coming from the southeasterly sec- 
tions. They are longer haired and of a coarser tex- 
ture. The skins are generally sold on an all around 
selection of 85 per cent primes and 15 per cent seconds, 
and for weight 1,000 lbs. per 500 skins, 1,100 lbs., 1,200 
lbs. and 1,500 lbs. All of these averages, however, con- 
tain all sizes of skins excepting kids. 

Southern India. 

The general character of the goatskins in Southern 
India differs materially from the northern kinds. The 
grain is quite distinctive and not as fine as in the 
northern skins. On the other hand, it is more uniform 
and free from pokahs. The chief defect of Southern 
India skins is briar scratches, to which they are liable. 
The skins coming from this district are generally 
known as Madras. Those coming from the Mysore 
section and to the south thereof are in general qual- 
ity superior to those from the north: These skins are 
almost always shipped wetsalted and classified in the 
same manner as North West Province skins. Some 
shippers prepare their skins drysalted, in which case 
they are usually cut open and packed flat. 


There are three main ports from which goatskins are 
shipped out of this country; these also being the mar- 
kets where the skins are collected from the several 
districts and sold to the exporter. 


The qualities shipped from this port are all more or 
less of similar nature. In order of general quality and 


excellence as well as value are placed the following 
districts : Chowching, Shantafoo, Paotingfoo and 

All of these are classified as to hair into shorthair, 
medium-hair and longhair. The shorthair are the best 
in quality and the medium and long next in order. The 
bulk of the skins shipped out of this section are me- 
dium and longhaired and black in color, the shorthaired 
being the smallest proportion. Chowching skins are 
usually stretched in length, Shantafoos are also 
stretched in this manner, but rather broader than the 
Chowchings. The other kinds are more or less square 
shaped. These skins are all cut open and trimmed. 
They are prepared flint dried and are not folded but 
packed flat in compressed bales. They are fairly free 
from grain imperfection, their chief defect lying in 
their tendency to barrenness and main or scurf, which 
is also known as "hoggyness." Tientsin and Paoting- 
foo skins have also a tendency to butcher scores. For 
selection they are usually classified into primes, sec- 
onds and bulls. For weight the averages run about as 
follows: Shorthaired, 160/180 lb. average per 100 
pieces; medium haired, 180/210 lb. average per 100 
pieces; longhaired, 200/250 lb. average per 100 pieces. 


This port is situated about 600 miles from the mouth 
of the Yangtse river and secures its supply from the 
Eastern part of the province of Szechuen and the prov- 
inces of Honan and Hupeh. 

The skins coming from the province of Szechuen are 
the most valuable brought to this market. They are 
flint dried, mostly white in color and plump in weight. 
They are long-necked, and are packed flat. The grain 
is fine and free from imperfections. The bulk of the 
skins is shorthaired and there are but small percent- 
ages of medium and longhaired contained in them ; for 
weight they are classified as follows : Shorthaired, 
150/175 lb. per 100 pieces; mediumhaired, about 180/ 


200 lb. per ioo pieces ; longhaired, 200/225 lb. per 100 
pieces; heavies, 200/225 lb. per 100 pieces; bulls, 275/ 
300 lb. per 100 pieces. They are selected for primes 
and seconds. 


The skins from this province are smaller in size than 
the above, are chunky and have no heads. While a 
flint dry cure, they are fleshier and not as clean as the 
Szechuen, are classified for hair in the same manner, 
but contain larger proportions of medium and long- 
haired skins; in fact, the shorthair of this variety is 
not as short as in the case of the Szechuens. The color 
of the hair is white, grey and black, the largest per- 
centage being of white. The weights are approxi- 
mately the same as the above, though if anything 
somewhat lighter. They will not make as much 
leather per pound, however, owing to the heavier hair 
and false weight. 

The skins coming from the province of Hupeh have 
the same characteristics as the above mentioned skins, 
and need no further description. 


There are two varieties of skins shipped to this 
market, those coming from the western part of the 
Province of Szechuen, and those coming from the dis- 
trict of Puchow, which are more generally known as 
"Rivers." This variety of Szechuen goat is similar in 
most characteristics to the above described, but differs 
from them in fineness of texture. These are the best 
and most valuable of all skins shipped from China. 
They are fine grained and yield plump weight leather. 
They are particularly free from grain defects and pro- 
duce chiefly high grades. They are mostly black- 
haired and practically all shorthaired, the texture being 
very fine. They are classified for weight as follows: 
Shorthair, 135/150 lb. per 100 pieces; heavies, 190/200 
lb. per 100 pieces; bulls, 225/250 lb. per 100 pieces. 


There is also the usual selection for primes and seconds. 
Though this district is closer to Hankow than Shang- 
hai, the skins are shipped through 10 the latter port 
owing to the fact that the merchants of this district 
have their representatives at Shanghai. 

River Goat. 

This is one of the inferior classes of China skins. 
The animals are small sized, and though the grain is 
fine over the body of the skin, the heads and necks are 
rather coarse and hoggy. In cure the skins are partly 
flint dried and partly mud cured. They are cut open 
and packed flat, have no heads and are fairly trimmed. 
The hair is quite fine in texture and in color runs to 
white, grey and black in about equal proportions. In 
length it is practically all medium and long, the so- 
called shorthaired River skins having considerable 
length. There is considerable false weight left on 
these skins in the shape of flesh and fat. They are 
packed for weight about as follows : Short medium- 
hair, 150/175 lbs. average per 100 pieces; medium long- 
hair, 175/200 lbs. average per 100 pieces; longhaired, 
190/220 lbs. average per 100 pieces. Selection primes, 
seconds and kids. 

All classes of China skins are marketed from No- 
vember to May inclusive. The Tientsin varieties are 
the earliest to be sold, and their season is over about 
February-March. The Hankow and Shanghai mar- 
kets range from December to May. 


The island of Java produces comparatively few goat- 
skins, but these are of excellent quality and deserving 
of mention. The skins are well prepared, being cut 
open, closely trimmed and cured flint dry. They are 
tacked out closely and free from flesh and false weight. 
The hair is short and fine and the leather produced 
is plump, fine grained and free from imperfections. 


They are selected for quality into primes and seconds 
and for weight from 75 lbs. average per 100 pieces to 
105/110 lbs. These averages and those in between are 
made up of all sized skins. 


There are two large producing countries of goat- 
skins on the South American continent — the Argentine 
Republic and Brazil. All of the other countries, such 
as Chili, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia, pro- 
duce more or less quantities, which, however, will not 
be detailed here. 


These skins are better known under the name of 
Buenos Aires, from which place they are shipped. Bet- 
ter qualities of Buenos Aires skins come from the 
states of Cordova, San Luis and Santafe, those com- 
ing from the Pampas region and Tucaman and Salta 
being inferior. The skins are of two general types, the 
matadero or butcher skins, and the campos or country 
skins. The first kind are well handled, being clean 
and free from flesh and fat, while the latter are some- 
what fleshy and earthy cured. The matadero skins are 
flint dried, and are stretched in their natural shape, 
folded along the back for packing purposes. Campos 
skins are also partly shaped in this manner, and partly 
stretched in length, the body of the skin being shrunk 
together. In general character, the skins are plump 
and fine grained, the chief defects being a tendency 
towards scurf on the grain and scratches. They are 
selected for primes and culls, also small percentages 
of bulls and longhair. For weight they are usually 
classified as follows : Mataderos, 8 to 9 kilos per doz. ; 
campos, 9 to 10^ kilos per doz. 


Skins from this country are well known to the trade, 
as probably the highest grade of all goatskins. The 


best skins come from the state of Ceara, next in order 
being Pernambuco and Bahia. Large quantities were 
formerly shipped out of this country, and while there 
are still fair sized quantities obtainable, they have de- 
creased materially. The skins are of flint dry cure, 
shorthaired and quite free from flesh and fat. The 
grain of these skins is very fine and the leather pro- 
duced is of the highest grade. The usual weight is 
110/112 lbs. per 100 pieces for the primes; there are 
also seconds and kids. 


Considerable quantities of skins are produced in this 
country, the best qualities coming from the southern 
portion, from the states of Vera Cruz and Oaxaca. The 
skins are largely classified for particular cities and dis- 
tricts, and even shippers too numerous to be men- 
tioned here. The usual selection is for primes, which 
are all whitehaired skins, fawn colored skins being 
kept separately, and culls. The skins are of earthy salt 
cure and sometimes also flint dry. The weights range 
from 175/225 lbs. in accordance with their size and 

Mexican skins are also known to the trade under the 
general title of Tampicos. The skins are large and pro- 
duce plump leather and are fairly fine grain in propor- 
tion to their size. 






Before the American Leather Chemists' Association 

Reprinted from the Journal of the American Leather 
Chemists' Association. 

Two decades ago there was much discussion in the 
leather industry regarding the bark supply. There 
were predictions that hemlock bark would soon be ex- 
hausted and our low cost red sole leather would cease 
to be cut into cheap shoes and exported in large quan- 
tities. In those days hides and skins were in super- 
abundant supply and such a thing as a scarcity of hides 
was not thought of. Today we find these conditions 
reversed. The chrome tannage, quebracho and other 
tanning extracts successfully have reinforced the bark 
supply and no apprehension exists. On the other 
hand, hides and skins appear to be decreasing stead- 
ily in quantity, as measured by demand. To those 
who have an aversion for statistics and remain uncon- 
vinced when long tables of figures are shown attest- 
ing that the slaughter of cattle is not keeping pace 
with the increase of population, the fact that hides 
and skins continue to advance in cost in all the mar- 
kets of the world should be a demonstration of the 

Value of Statistics. 

It is sometimes alleged that there are no reliable 
statistics upon which to estimate the supply of hides, 
but the condition is neither better or worse than ob- 


tains in other world wide commodities. There are 
two sets of statistics purporting to give the number of 
farm animals in the country. The Census Depart- 
ment reports once in ten years and the Agricultural 
Department makes an enumeration every year. The 
U. S. Census report was announced. It gave the 
total range and farm cattle as 61,225,791 head 
against 67,719,410 for 1900 — a decrease of 10.6 per cent. 
The population of the United States is 92,174,515, 
against 75,-79,940 in 1900 — an increase of 21.3 per cent. 
It thus appears that the cattle which produce hides 
and the people who consume leather are numerically 
moving in inverse ratio. If we compare the latest Cen- 
sus Department figures with the Agricultural Census 
of 1908, a decrease of 10,041,219 head of cattle, or 14.10 
per cent is shown. 

There are persons connected with the leather trade 
who have the Bourbon faculty of never learning, al- 
though they do forget frequently. Years ago they 
adopted the postulate that hides and skins are and 
forever must be in superabundant supply. When con- 
fronted by facts and figures such as the live stock 
census or the decreased slaughter of the big packers 
they declare that the temporary scarcity will soon 
right itself because more cattle will be raised. 

Less Demand for Beef. 

The plain fact many times ignored is that beef has 
declined as a staple article of diet. Cereal breakfast 
foods were unknown outside of Scotland when some of 
us were boys. To-day, the grocer's shelves are filled 
with predigested stuff ranging all the way from good 
to bad. I venture to assert that there isn't a man in 
this room who has had a beefsteak for breakfast this 
morning. The millionaire, the chemist and the poor 
newspaper man are united in the modern democracy 
of an oatmeal, egg and grapefruit breakfast. This 
dietary change is not a theory but a condition. The 
refrigerator car has made it possible to transport 


southern fruits and vegetables to northern markets 
and the cold storage plant enables the accumulation 
of fish, poultry, eggs and other food products in sea- 
son of plenty to be dispensed during all the months 
of the year. The development of the poultry and egg 
business is remarkable. The farm animal census is- 
sued last month contained this significant clause: 
"Poultry shows a greater relative increase in value 
during the decade than the combined value of all live 
stock, the increase amounting to nearly $70,000,000. 
Poultry now are valued at more than $150,000,000." 
The work of the Government Bureau of Fisheries 
in stocking our rivers, lakes and coast waters is an- 
other important development of the food supply. 

Revolution in Cattle Trade. 

This revolution in the diet of the people under the 
operation of the law of supply and demand would have 
lowered the price of cattle at the stock yards and beef 
at the butchers if other circumstances had not in- 
tervened. Coincident with the decline in the per cap- 
ita consumption of beef was the cutting up of the vast 
ranges into farms. The western semi arid plains made 
economical cattle production possible. But with the 
settlement of the country, the cowboy and vast 
stretches of free grazing land are no more. Under 
the old system cattle were raised on the ranges and 
finished on corn in the middle West. One after an- 
other the cattle feeders have gone out of business. 
It is misleading to assume that the scarcity of cattle 
is only a temporary condition. Cattle raisers and feed- 
ers and the country banks which have made a spe- 
cialty of cattle loans, nearly all have been obliterated 
by the economic change. The distribution of cattle 
among the states as disclosed by a census bulletin 
issued November 21st is a demonstration of the pass- 
ing of the cattle from the ranges to the farms. 


Increase of Dairy Cattle. 

If we take nine typical range cattle states, Mon- 
tana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Ari- 
zona, Utah, Nevada and Texas, we find they have 12,- 
745,212 head of cattle. A comparison with nine dairy 
states, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illi- 
nois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, de- 
velops the interesting fact that these central and east- 
ern states have 20,643,857 head. Texas is the largest 
state in the Union and still has the largest number of 
cattle — 6,721,502 head, or more than half the total num- 
ber in the nine range states previously named. But 
the New England states with New York, Pennsyl- 
vania, New Jersey and Ohio, have 7,402,583 head. If 
we take the eight range cattle states, exclusive of 
Texas, there are only 6,023,710 head, against 6,066,- 
278 head in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey 
and Ohio. Another astonishing contrast may be made 
between six central and eastern states, Illinois, Wis- 
consin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and New York, 
with 16,917,465 head of cattle, and twelve western 
states, Texas, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, 
New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, 
Oregon and California with only 15,734,443 head. 
Here we have six dairy states with 1,183,022 more cat- 
tle than twelve range states. It is also worthv of note 
that the western states are increasing their proportion 
of milch cows. Texas now has more than a million 
head of dairy cattle. 

There is an important distinction between range 
and farm cattle as a basis of raw material for tan- 
ning. On the plains, steers are developed quickly 
and shipped to the feed lots for fattening when only 
two years old. On the farms as a rule only bull 
calves and worn out milch cows are sold for slaugh- 
tering. A given number of dairy cattle furnish more 
calfskins but a smaller supply of hides than a similar 
number of animals on the ranges. 


Cattle Supply of the World. 

According to the year book of the Department of 
Agriculture there are about four hundred and fifty 
millions of cattle in the world, more than half of 
which are in North and South America. Europe and 
Asia each have one hundred and thirty millions and 
Africa and Oceania each have twelve millions. There 
would seem to be a basis for some sort of hide and 
leather Monroe doctrine concealed in the fact that 
there are within eighteen millions as many cattle in 
the western hemisphere as in Europe and Asia com- 
bined. In so far as the leather making and consum- 
ing industries can properly take political action we 
should favor pan-American reciprocity. The North 
and South American continents are 31.75 per cent of 
the world's area, have 55 per cent of the world's sup- 
ply of cattle, but have only 10.40 per cent of the world's 
population. With the completion of the Panama Canal 
and the institution of closer business relations with the 
nations south of us, we should accept our manifest 
opportunity to dominate the leather industries of the 
world. There are millions of acres of land in Cen- 
tral and South America exactly suited to the raising 
of cattle. But the business must be exploited by capi- 
tal and men from the United States, and live cattle 
should be put on the free list. The present duty of 
2 7/^ P er cen t i s practically prohibitive. 

Years ago this high tariff was designed to stimu- 
late cattle raising on our then unoccupied plains. 
Those who insist upon a tariff on either cattle or 
hides are reactionary and out of alignment with mod- 
ern progress. 

Expansion of Foreign Trade. 

If trade relations were cultivated with Central and 
South America the United States would be in a posi- 
tion to assume a commanding position in the leather 
industries of the world. 


Our exports of shoes are almost equal to those of 
the United Kingdom, but we export twenty-eight mil- 
lion dollars' worth of leather to Great Britain's twelve 
millions. With the preponderance of the hide supply 
on this hemisphere and Europe, Asia and Africa de- 
manding more leather goods, wide statesmanship 
would suggest a rapid expansion of our foreign traffic. 

There is much evidence to show that the world, 
while consuming less beef per capita is demanding \ 
more leather. This seeming paradox is easily ex- 
plained. There are many substitutes for beef for food, 
but no alternative for leather. The world could get 
along without the flesh of cattle, but not without the 
hides. The semi-civilized nations are adopting our 
customs of dress, especially in shoes. Since Lord 
Palmerston uttered his famous criticisms of the Turk 
"What can you expect of a people who wear no heels 
on their shoes/' slipshod methods have been corrected 
to some extent by the introduction of European and 
American styles. If the four hundred millions of 
people in China should demand leather shoes as a con- 
comitant of their new government, their wants could 
not possibly be supplied for lack of raw material of 
which to make leather. 

Increased Domestic Consumption of Leather. 

But apart from the task of civilizing the barbarous 
nations with our improved footgear there is the much 
less remote condition at home. Our own per capita 
consumption of leather is increasing coincidently with 
our declining supply of hides and skins. Experts tell 
us that automobiles use two and a half hides each for\ 
their upholstering. Leather furniture is in evidence in 
all semi-public places and grows in favor for libraries 
and dining rooms in the finest houses. The late cen- 
sus shows a large increase of horse and mules in both 1 
number and values so that despite the automobile, 
harness leather will continue to be wanted in larger , 
quantities. The Census Department preliminary re- 


port of the trade in harness, trunks, valises, embossed 
leather, leather garments, etc., shows an increase in 
the number of establishments of 24 per cent from 
1904 and 37 per cent increase in capital invested. 

The shoe industry is not conducted with a view to 
economy of raw material. Durability is subordinated 
to style and finish. Many of the popular kinds of 
leather are sold without guarantee as to wear. They 
are beautiful but fi^il and use up raw material rapidly 
The 1909 census of the shoe industry shows an increase 
of 63 per cent in capital invested since 1904 and the 
gross value of product increased 43 per cent. 


The importance of the goat as a leather producing 
animal should be considered in estimating the world's 
supply of raw material. Of course, goatskins are 
available for light weight stock suitable for fine shoes, 
upholstery, fancy articles and decorations. The goat 
is the chief meat and dairy animal in many countries. 
The best available statistics tell us that there are 100, 
957,649 goats in the world, of which less than two 
millions are in the United States and a little less than 
fourteen millions on this hemisphere. North, South 
and Central America have less than fourteen per cent 
; of the goats of the world against 55 per cent of the 
beef cattle. And yet our morocco manufacturers have 
achieved a commanding position in the manufacture 
of glazed kid. They now are exporting glazed kid to 
the amount of about eighteen million dollars a year 
with what may be termed the raw material situation 
against them. They present an object lesson of what 
should be accomplished in the heavy leather trade 
with the preponderance of hides at hand. 

Taking a broad review of the leather situation with 
regard to the hide supply it would seem that future 
extension depends upon producing greater quantities 
of raw material and developing the export trade. The 
day of small things in the leather industry is passing. 


The modern tanner must be a student of the world's 
markets and able to command sufficient capital to 
transact a greater foreign business ixi buying hides 
and skins and selling leather. 

To this end we should demand a repeal of the Sher- 
man Law and the inauguration of a government policy 
designed to encourage and stimulate international 
trade on a large scale. It is admitted that powerful 
corporations are necessary properly to conduct big 
business. No one will object to government control, 
but there is a wide difference between regulation and 



The annual consumption of meat per inhabitant in 
the United States is estimated at 154 pounds; Argen- 
tina, 282 pounds; Australia, 245 pounds; Great Britain, 
104 pounds ; Canada, 88 pounds ; France, 73 pounds ; 
Belgium, 68 pounds, and Italy, 26 pounds. 







The analysis of a leather may be of value for a 
number of purposes and the importance of a repre- 
sentative sample somewhat depends on the kind of 
leather under consideration, as well as the nature of 
the information desired from the laboratory. For 
illustration, if a lot of leather consists of "bellies" 
and it is desired to know the kind and extent of 
adulteration it is a simple problem to get an average 
sample. If the consideration is a lot of sole leather, 
and it is desired to know particularly the extent of 
the tannage, the problem is complicated. Again, if 
the chemist in his control work in the tannery desires 
to know the particular stage in tanning to which the 
hides have progressed, the problem of an average sam- 
ple is further complicated, and a representative sam- 
ple is essential if he is to obtain any exact informa- 

This need of a representative sample from the whole 
hide is brought about by the variation largely in the 
physical nature of different parts. As is well known 
the fibers on the flank parts are loose and for the 
most part the hide is thin. Going toward the center 
of the "butt" or part lying over the kidneys it grad- 

*Read at the A. L. C. A. convention, Washington, 
D. C, December 8, 1911. 


ually grows thicker and firmer until in the kidney- 
section we have the choice part of the hide. Proceed- 
ing- toward the head along the backbone the structure 
gradually changes and when we reach the shoulder 
section the hide is thicker and not so firm as the butt, 
and this increases through the neck into the head. The 
result of this variation in structure is a variation in 
the quality of the leather. Parts thin and loose are 
penetrated' rapidly by the tannin and consequently 
more thoroughly tanned, while heavier and firmer parts 
are less rapidly penetrated, but at the same time more 
tannin is physically absorbed and filled in the inter- 
stitial spaces between the fibers. We have every rea- 
son for assuming that samples taken from these vari- 
ous sections would give different results on analysis. 
The same is true regarding addition of materials to 
gain weight. The loosely constructed parts will re- 
ceive more of these materials than the firmer parts. 

In order to determine the exact conditions antici- 
pated by the foregoing reasoning, I undertook a series 
of analyses of leather taken from the principal sections, 
namely, belly, shoulder and butt. 

There are certain practical limitations in obtaining 
a sample of leather, because it would be impracticable 
to cut into pieces a whole hide to obtain the sample. 
No one would destroy so much value for this purpose. 
The samples analyzed were accordingly taken with the 
idea of getting a representative one with the least 
mutilation of the parts. Three tanned and finished 
hides trimmed into bends, shoulders and bellies were 
selected. From each belly a strip was taken running 
the whole length, approximately one inch wide, from 
the inside or cut edge. From each bend a strip two 
inches wide was cut on the edge lying along the back- 
bone. From each shoulder a strip the same width on 
the cut edge adjoining the bends and on the neck end. 

The head was neglected as it represents less than 
io' per cent of the hide. 



Figure No. i is cut of a hide showing the parts re- 
moved for the samples. 

The strips were laid off in five-inch blocks, each 

block was numbered and the alternate blocks were 
taken by selecting the even numbers on one strip 
and the odd numbers on the next, etc. An equal 


amount from this sample was then finely divided as for 
analysis. This made a total of three samples, which 
were placed in air-tight jars. The analyses were con- 
ducted according to the methods of this association, 
and the results are given in Table I. 

Table I. 

Butt. Shoulder. Belly. 

Moisture 13.16% 12.50% 13.15% 

Oil 3.26 4.77 4.63 

Uncombined tannin 17-59 I 9- 2 7 l 7 2 3 

Uncombined non-tannin... 3.43 3.86 3.60 

Combined tannin 18.21 18.83 I 9- 2 3 

Hide 44-24 40.67 42.05 

Ash (insoluble) 0.11 0.10 0.11 

Tannage number 41.2 46.3 45.7 

This gives an idea of the variation likely, as the 
leather was standard oak tanned stock. 

In obtaining a representative sample of the whole 
hide it must be based on the relative weights of each 
section. In this case the shoulders averaged eight 
pounds, the bends ten pounds and the bellies five 
pounds, or a total of thirty-eight pounds. Accord- 
ingly, in making a composite sample fifty-three per 
cent of the butt sample, twenty-one per cent of the 
shoulder and twenty-six per cent of the belly was 

This analysis is given in Table II. 

Table II. Composite 


Moisture 12.98% 

Oil 3-93 

Uncombined tannin 17-^9 

Uncombined non-tannin 3.96 

Combined tannin 18.92 

Hide 42-42 

Ash (insoluble) 0.10 

Tannage number 44-6 


In thus working for an average sample of a whole 
hide it will be advisable to obtain the weights of each 
part, and when this is impossible to use average ap- 
proximate weights. 

An interesting comparison with the results on the 
composite sample in Table II is the calculated analysis 
from Table I made up on the same basis as the com- 
posite sample. 

Table III. 

Composite Calculated 
Sample. Analysis. 

Moisture 12.98% 13.03% 

Oil 3-93 3-93 

Uncombined tannin 17-69 l 7-&5 

Uncombined non-tannin 3.96 3.57 

Combined tannin 18.92 18.60 

Hide 42.42 42.92 

Ash (insoluble) 0.10 0.10 

Tannage number 44.6 43.3 

It appears from the results that the foregoing rea- 
soning failed in assuming that the firmest or butt part 
of the hide has a greater physical absorption of tannin 
as indicated by the uncombined tannin results. Other 
assumptions as to completeness of tannage were cor- 
rect, as there is a big difference between the butt and 
shoulder composition. There is as much as 3.57 per 
cent difference in the hide, taking the two extremes 
and the greatest difference in the tannage number 
(combined tannin -j- hide, per cent), is 5.1 per cent. 
Also, we notice a greater penetration of oil in the 
shoulder and belly sections than in the butt. This, it 
seems, would indicate, as assumed, the better penetra- 
tion in these parts of any material used for false 

The most unlooked for result is the general agree- 
ment between the analysis of the composite sample 
and the belly, and this work seems to indicate that 
where it is impracticable to obtain a general average 
sample from the whole hide that it is possible to get 


very near the truth by taking the sample from the 
cut edge of the belly. 

These results could have been maae more conclusive 
by additional analyses from either heavier or lighter 
hides and from other tannages. However, this paper 
is not the result of a special investigation for that 
purpose, but rather the result of an investigation un- 
dertaken in the general course of my work, to de- 
termine how much variation might be expected in the 
composition of leather taken from the various principal 
parts of the hide, and I trust, as here presented, they 
may prove of value to someone. 


Read By John H. H. YOCUM 
Before the American Leather Chemists' Association 

Reprinted from the Journal of the American Leather 
Chemists' Association. 

While it is not advisable to write for technical soci- 
eties articles which are based on commercial condi- 
tions, yet because of the fact that so far in the 
literature of the tanning trade no data are on record 
bearing on the character and condition of hides, I 
have felt it worth while to bring before this organi- 
zation and have recorded for reference the varying 
conditions and character of the raw material of the 
tanning industry, particularly in view of the fact 
that the hide represents from 60 to 70 per cent of the 
value of the resulting leather. 

In using the term hide, I refer to those pelts which 
are usually worked into heavy leathers, as the trade 
distinguishes lighter pelts by the term skins or kips. 
Hides come to the tanner in two general conditions, 
dry, and green salted ; there is an intermediate condi- 
tion generally known as dry salted, but as there are re- 
latively few hides on the market in this condition and as 
they are worked in the same manner as are the green 
salted hides, they will be included under green salted 

Dry Hides. 

Dry hides are the hides that are taken off, as a 
rule, on the ranch or at some distance from easy trans- 
portation points, and when taken off the animal are 


usually hung flesh out and permitted to dry in the 
sun until the 70 or 75 per cent of moisture normally 
in the hide when taken off is reduced to 8 or 10 per 
cent, and the pelt itself changed into a hard and im- 
pervious horny substance. During the drying opera- 
tion, if conditions are not suitable for rapid drying, 
bacterial action occurs, which liquefies the fiber of the 
hide. This, when it reaches the tanner or selector, is 
known as a sunburn, and during the soaking operation 
these so-called sunburned spots usually drop out. 
Sometimes the selector can determine from the ap- 
pearance of the dried hide the extent of the sun burn, 
and other times the extent of the sun burn is only de- 
termined by the tanner during the soaking and stock- 
ing of the hides. Such hides come out and go into 
leather of the selection known as scabs and rejects, 
or go to pieces in working. 

In trade parlance we have River Plate hides, or 
straight hides and common hides. These two names 
refer to practically all the dry hides coming from 
South and Central America. The straight hides are 
hides going into union and oak sole, harness and upper 
as Buenos Ayres and Montevideos, taking their name 
from the point of shipment; these hides are range 
cattle raised under similar climatic conditions to the 
Texas hide in the United States, but are not branded so 
heavily as are the range hides of the United States, 
the prevalent brand being the result of wire branding 
which does not occasion the formation of as much 
scar tissue as does the stamp brand of the States. 
These hides are regarded as the best of dry hides, and 
are largely worked into non-acid and the better grades 
of acid hemlock. 

Common hides take their names from the different 
ports from which they are shipped or the neighbor- 
hood in which they are taken off, such as Puerto Ca- 
bellos, Maracaibos, Caracas, Costa Ricas, Central 
Americas and Orinocos, and have varying character- 
istics as to plumpness, quality of grain and ability to 


make gain of leather. They are worked into acid 
hemlock in its cheaper grades, and the cheaper grades 
of non-acid hemlock. 

Other dry hides come into the market such as 
Chinas, dry and arsenic cured Buffalos from India, 
dry Californias, fallen Texas, etc., each having a dif- 
ferent value depending upon the character of the skin 
of the cattle as determined by the climatic conditions 
of the country from which they come. This, for in- 
stance, can best be explained by the selection known 
as Mountain Bogotas as against Orinocos; the Moun- 
tain Bogota cattle, being raised at high altitudes and 
in a comparatively cold climate, are much plumper 
than are the Orinocos which are raised in about the 
same latitude but at low elevations. 

Practically all the dry hides coming into this market 
are prepared for tanning by the sweating process, 
whereas practically all the salted hides are prepared 
for tanning by liming. The dry hides, as a rule, go 
into acid and non-acid hemlock sole leather, the salted 
hides shipped from Argentine and Uruguay known 
leather, although some are worked into slaughter hem- 
lock sole. 

To the tanner it is essential that the hides worked 
by a given method of procedure in the tannery should be 
similar in weight and character, and it is therefore 
necessary for him to know, in the purchase of hides 
so as to turn out a given character of leather, the 
characteristics of the hides from different localities. 
Therefore, a tanner making acid hemlock from Indian 
Buffalo hides will pursue a different method in the treat- 
ment of the hides in the tannery from that which he 
would use in tanning acid hemlock from hides obtained in 
Venezuela or in Central America; he would also have 
to pursue a different method of treatment for hides 
from Buenos Ayres or Montevideo. Buenos Ayres 
and Montevideos are sufficiently like Texas to be 
worked together; Central Americas and Venezuelas 
can generally be worked together; Chinas are so vari- 


cms in character as to make it a matter of judgment 
what other hides can be worked with them success- 

Dry pelts coming into this country and weighing 
over 12 pounds in the dried condition are known as 
hides. Pelts weighing in the dried condition between 
12 and 5 pounds are known as kips ; under 5 pounds in 
the dried condition are known as calf skins. Selec- 
tions are made for hides and kips, hides tainted on 
both sides, badly worn out on both sides, sore shoulder 
or pox on both sides, sunburns and damage in shipment, 
no selection being ordinarily made for grubs, ticks or 
cuts. Practically all these hides are branded. 

Salted Hides. 

The salted hides that are imported from South 
America come under three selective names : Frigorifi- 
cos, Saladeros and Mataderos. The Frigorificos, as 
the name indicates, are the hides taken off cattle, 
the meat of which is shipped out of Argentine as 
frozen meat. The Saladeros are the hides taken from 
the smaller packing establishments throughout Ar- 
gentine and Uruguay. The Mataderos are the hides 
taken from the village butcher shops and the larger 
ranches, which are brought into the market in the salted 
condition. Few Mataderos come to this country because 
of their poor take-off; the Saladeros take-off is about 
equal to our country take-off, a little better if anything, 
while the Frigorifico is equivalent to our large packers' 
take-off. These hides are almost all wire branded, and in 
that respect do not compare with the native selection in 
the United States. Practically all of the Argentine and 
Uruguay hides are staggy, that is, thick in the belly and 
neck and comparatively thin along the backbone. 

Other green salted hides imported into this country are 
of two types : such cow hides from the north of Europe 
suitable for buff and lace leather, and such heavy steer 
hides from the north of Italy, from Switzerland and 
France, as are suitable on account of their spread for 


carr. leather, and cm account of their 

plunpness for belting and harness leather. 

Z ropean hides coming to this country are branded, 

irks which are more harmful to 
grain f : scratches on our natives. The 

a Eoi gn - :.- - an the Continent, and is not uni- 
form for I spread} b ides as against Swedisli 
cow & asa.rale s much later in the year than 
: b ig season in the United States. In purchasir.c 

s to make a grub selection at all 
times by the agent or factor tal-: g p the hides. Xo 
general rule as to daring of grub allowance; is ~ade on 
foreign hiiif ;. : case in the United Sfe 

Anglo-American Hides. 

Another type of hide corning into the United States is 
known as the Anglo-American, which is the hide taken 
frorr rican cattlr s "ed to England, the hides being 

returned here These are : : . s ame character as Amer- 
ican seasonable take-off being from 30 to 40 
5 behind that of this country. However, these hides 
~ked and for : ison command a slightly 
e. These Anglo- rkans ire subject to the 
same brand and gr t : : Arr.e~ :ir. 
packer hi A S 3me c : : n hides from the United 
res ire sold imdef : he term of short shanked, which 
e hide is not taken off from the knee down. 
:r:::er; ire r: rep ire: '■-. ~ :'r. :hf — rr.e 
that 7 ; UoCita s are in this country, and are then 
and sold F:r mis reas-:" the Arglo- American 
e from 3 tc : ag : as against a like 
It beta ; ^ :: the knee trim. 

Domestic Hides. 

The green salted hides sold in this country are gen- 
knt : ~ - from their source as packer 

e packer hides and co untr y hides. The (lis- 

ten many of the small packers in the char- 
-- of ti : that they produce and that of the "big 


six*' is simply a matter of quantity. Many of these small 
packers kill the same character of cattle and exercise the 
same care in the take-off as do the "big* six," bat beca_ i e 
cf the quantity killed by the larger packers they are able 
to give a better selection as to weights, conditions, brands 
and grubs than is possible for the small packer to do 
There are, however, some ::' the small packers who take 
off poorly, and therefore these hides must be thrown into 
the country hide selection. Fbe country les ire the 
hides taken off by small toca] butchers the bodes being 
salted without regard to selection, and subsequently sold 
to a dealer, who, after collecting from a number of the 
country hide butchers, makes a general sele crier, fcr 
grubs, brands, steers, cows, bulls and weights. Among 
most of the small packers, however, a realization of the 
value of selection exists, and natives and brands 
and bulls are packed separately, so that the tanner ma; 
purchase from them hides of a good selection suitable for 
a tanner's needs. 

Packer Hides. 

The mode of packing or curing of hides in the Unite 
States among the larger packers is well -s the smaller 
packers, after removing and washing down the hides. . 
to stage the hide and permit the excess of water from tl 
washing down to drain off. This washing down of the 
hide assises in the removal of the blood and manure and 
in a way prevents salt stains. It is important in : 
connection that the packer, to prevent salt stains should 
use salt which has been crystallized, as it has been found 
that mine salt not only contains iron which wiD cause 
discoloration in the leather, but in the process of mining, 
the dynamite used for dislodging must be exploded by 
caps and small wires made of copper, which, if left in 
the mine salt, will cause iiseclrration of the hides, and, 
for certain purposes, make the hides less 
Packer hides, after draining, are selected and placed in 
packs in which the moisture remaining in the hide tar- 
nishes sufheier.: -.vater fcr the diss r '.vine ::" the sal: rlace: 


thereon, so that the salt will form a pickle and partially 
taw the hide. Ordinarily from 600 to 1,000 hides are 
placed in the pack, dependent upon the weight of the 
hide ; the time from which the last hide is placed thereon 
until the cure is effected ranges from 30 days upwards. 
No packer's bed of hides should be taken up, if proper 
weights are desired, until at least 30 days have elapsed 
from the time the last hide went into pack. 

Selections of Packer Hides. 

The selections of packer hides, as adopted by the pack- 
ers, are as follows : 

Spready Steers — 6 feet 6 inches and over on stuck 
throats; 6 feet 8 inches and over on cut throats, meas- 
ured immediately behind the brisket ; suitable for patent, 
enamel, carriage and furniture leather; selection for 
grubs; usually sold as of June 1st to January 1st. 

Free of Brands or Native Steers — Heavy steers, 60 
pounds and up ; spready selection taken out between June 
1st and January 1st, remaining in January 1st to June 
1st; grub selection January 1st to June 1st. This carries 
the hides from 50 to 60 pounds at 1 cent less. No. 2's 
of each at 1 cent less. Cut throat hides ordinarily sell 
for y A cent less than stuck throat hides. Hides of the 
native selection on steers below 50 pounds will ordinarily 
go into native cow hides, as the extremes (under 50 
pounds) would sell for 2 cents a pound less than heavy 
natives, and the packer ordinarily puts these among the 

Free of Brands or Native Cows — The packer makes 
a selection of 25 to 45 pounds on these, which are called 
extremes, 45 to 55 pounds, which are called buff hides, 
and 55 pounds and up, which are called heavy cows. The 
extremes are used in the shoe leather and lace leather 
trade; the buffs almost exclusively in the shoe upper 
leather trade, either in chrome grains or patent grains, 
whereas the heavy native cows are used in the belting 
leather trade and in the furniture and carriage leather 


trade. A native hide in the United States is free of 
brands, or is reported free of brands by the agent taking 
up the hide. All hides of the packer; should properly 
be taken up by an agent representing the tanner. It fol- 
lows that there are a few branded hides found among the 
natives by the tanner, but this results from the fact that 
by examining the hide on the flesh side only it is impos- 
sible to determine a wire brand or a brand that has not 
penetrated the hide to such an extent as to show on the 

Texas hides are sold under the terms of heavy, light 
and extra light. They are all branded, and no selection 
is made other than for weights and the allowance for 
grubs. They go entirely into the sole leather trade. 

Butt branded steers are steer hides which have been 
branded on the hip or butt. Ordinarily these show but 
one brand. They are sold 60 pounds and over ; 50 to 60 
pounds at 1 cent less, No. 2's of each 1 cent less. These 
go exclusively into the sole leather trade. The extra 
light, under 50 pounds, are usually thrown in among the 
branded cows. 

Colorados are steer hides which are side branded. No 
distinction is made if the hide happens to have a butt 
brand and a side brand, or two side brands, and as a 
result, clear sides from Colorado hides do not obtain in 
the same proportion as they do from butt brands, and 
the brands are usually of a very much larger area and 
the scar tissue much thicker. It is the habit among some 
packers to select the Colorados which are plump and sell 
them as Texas, but the Colorado' hide is not from the 
same animal that the Texas hide comes from ; the range 
Texas cattle are smaller, and have thicker and plumper 
hides, and are able to produce sole leather of a character 
which Colorados will not make. All these hides go into 
sole leather. 

Packer branded cows sell 25 pounds and up flat, ex- 
cept for grubs. 

Country native bulls are selected in such a manner 
that the 25 to 45 pound bulls are thrown in with the 


cows. The 45 to 60 pound bulls are thrown in with the 
cow selection of buff hides. The 60 pound and up native 
bull hides are sold as such. Packer native bulls are sold 
all weights, generally flat ; some packers allow a selection 
for holes. 

Packer branded bulls are sold as such, flat, from 25 
pounds up, and usually go into sole leather. 

The tare allowance on packer hides in Chicago and 
western points is determined by what is known as the 
sweep tare, that is to say, the agent acting for the tanner 
taking up the hides picks out 10 hides which are weighed. 
The salt is then thoroughly removed by sweeping from 
both flesh and hair side of these hides, they are then 
reweighed, and the difference determines the tare allow- 
ance for that pack. However, if the seller-man acting 
for the packer, or the broker acting for the tanner, are 
dissatisfied with this result, 10 additional hides are taken 
and treated in the same manner, the average loss on the 
20 being used as the tare allowance. In New York and 
other eastern points, the tare allowance is a matter to be 
determined at the time of the making of the contract, as 
for instance, July natives may be allowed i l / 2 pounds tare, 
whereas February-March hides of the same kind would 
be allowed 2 or 2 l / 2 pounds because of the longer hair and 
its ability to absorb the finer particles of salt. 

Grubbing Dates. 

The grubbing conditions established by the packers are 
as follows : 

Native steers are permitted to be grubbed and a grub 
allowance made between January 1st and June 1st of 
each year, which is done by sample. 

For native cows, the grub allowance is from January 
1 st to June 1st. 

Bulls, both branded and natives, are not selected for 

Texas steers, grub allowance, November 1st to June 1st. 


Branded cows, grub allowance, November 1st to June 
I st. 

Colorados, grub allowance, December ist to June ist. 
Butt brands, grub allowance, January ist to June ist. 


These tare allowances and grub allowances have been 
forced upon the leather trade by the packers. In refer- 
ence to this statement, it is well to call your attention to 
the fact that the latter part of December native hides 
will always run grubby, and the early part of June native 
hides will always run grubby. The weakness of establish- 
ing an absolute breaking point when allowance for grubs 
is made is that on the last day of December no grub allow- 
ance is made, whereas on the first day of January it is 
made. Oftentimes it happens that late Decembers and 
early Januarys will run 25 per cent grubs, and thus at 
the breaking point the first of January, a difference in 
the price per pound on selections or x /^ cent per pound on 
the whole purchase of hides is sometimes made, depend- 
ing upon the condition of the market. This explains why 
late Decembers as a rule do not sell at as high a price as 
early Januarys, and also why late Mays are usually 
valued higher than are early Junes. 

On account of the fact that the grub allowances and 
tare allowances are such important items to the tanner, 
it is always advisable to have these allowances deter- 
mined at the time the hides are taken up. Not only is 
this advisable because of the above mentioned facts, but 
it is always advisable because of the fact that packs will 
come up which contain more moisture, especially in Feb- 
ruary and March, than is proper, causing the hides to 
lose an excessive amount of weight from the time of 
take-up to the time of delivery. The broker when taking 
up hides should refuse to take up a pack when he finds 
the conditions such as are not justified, and should de- 
mand that before acceptance the hides coming out of 
pack shall be staged. Packer hides should not be per- 
mitted to be taken up and to lie for any considerable time 


if it is desired to make even colors in the finished leather, 
for the reason that salt stains will invariably occur from 
this procedure. 

Tare Before Weighing. 

Another point in connection with the taking up of hides 
is that the tare allowance should be determined before 
the hides are selected for lights and heavies. If this tare- 
allowance is not determined first, then the breaking point 
of the scales, as the hides come out of pack, is necessarily 
not established. The New York practice is much better 
in this respect than is the western practice, because in 
the New York practice the tare allowance is established 
in the contract, whereas in the western practice, it is 
necessary to take a number of hides, 10 or 20, out of 
pack as near an average as possible, before the tare allow- 
ance can be determined. Suppose the tare allowance is 
estimated, allowing 1 pound per hide, the scales will then 
be broken at 51 pounds for lights and 61 pounds for 
heavies. If it then happens that the allowance is estab- 
lished by sweeping at 2 pounds per hide, or 52 pounds 
and 62 pounds, then there is a considerable proportion 
of the hides bought by the tanner which are really of 
the lighter weight, paid for by him as being of the heavier 
weight at 1 cent a pound difference because the breaking 
weights had to be determined after some of the pack had 
been selected. This is an important item to the tanner, 
and one which necessitates careful consideration and in- 
vestigation, and one in which the variation of a pound, 
whether 61 or 62, may make 1-10 of a cent a pound 
difference in the net price of the hides. 

Country Hides. 

The selections under country steer hides are natives, 
No. 1 and No. 2, 60 pounds and up ; No. 1 and No. 
2, 50 to 60 pounds ; under 50 pounds going into ex- 
tremes and buffs. Native cows are selected as ex- 
tremes, 25 to 45 pounds ; 45 to 60 pounds, buffs ; 60 
pounds and up, heavies. In this connection, it might 


be well to state that in country hides, bulls under 45 
pounds will go into the cow selection of extremes ; 
bulls from 45 to 60 pounds will go ii^o the cow selec- 
tion of buffs; 60 pounds and up are sold as bulls. 
Country branded bulls are sold as such, 25 pounds 
and up. It therefore rests with the tanner or the 
tanner's representative to see that he gets the selec- 
tions which he buys. 

Ordinarily, all seasons take-off of country hides are 
sold to the tanner subject to a grub selection. This 
grub selection means that any hide having one or 
more grubs that are open from the flesh to the grain 
is a No. 2; so also a cut more than 6 inches in from 
the edge of the hide makes it a No. 2, provided the cut 
passes through the hide. In some sections country 
hides are classified as No. 2 when containing 4 or more 
grub holes; all packer hides are No. 2 when containing 
5 or more grub holes. The ordinary term used on 
contracts is "cuts, grubs and No. 2, 1 cent per pound 
less"; this applies to both heavy and light selections. 

Country hide selections : 

Native steers, 60 and up, No. 1 and 2; 50-60, No. 1 
and No. 2. 

Branded steers (both side and butt), 60 and up, No. 
1 and No. 2; 50-60, No. 1 and No. 2. 

Cows, light steers and bulls, natives : Extremes, 25- 
45; buffs, 45-60; 60 and up. 

Cows, branded : Extremes, 25 and up ; buffs, flat 
for weights. 

Bulls, natives: 60 and up. 

Bulls, branded : Extremes, 25 and up ; buffs, flat for 

Percentage of Leather from Different Hides. 

It might be well in closing this to call the atten- 
tion of the chemists here to the different possibilities 
of making leather from different kinds of hide. Dry 
hides will contain from 60 to 75 per cent of hide sub- 
stance, while green salted hides will contain from 22 


to 30 per cent of pure hide substance. These variations 
are due first, to the condition of the dry hide and its 
length of hair and cure, and on green salted hides, to 
the seasonable take-off of the hide, cure and condi- 
tion, there being at least 15 per cent difference between 
the weight of the hide taken off the same animal in 
June and July as against February and March. This 
may be explained by the length of hair, manure and 
general weakness of the hide at the end of the winter. 
It is advisable, in all cases, in comparing hides, to de- 
pend upon the percentage of white weight, i. e., the 
weight of the hides going into the liquor, as a meas- 
ure of the relation of the hide resulting from season- 
able conditions as well as take-up. It is admitted that 
white weight does not determine scratches, grubs, 
brands or other imperfections of the hide, but it is a 
measure of the hide buyer's ability to purchase prop- 
erly for the tanner's use, so that the tanner may obtain 
the highest return from the purchased weight of hides; 
this factor can be so accurately determined that the 
selling weight from the white weight will not vary 
more than 1 per cent, provided the tanning operations 
are uniform. 

Discussion on Salt Stains. 

Mr. Griffith : I should like to ask Mr. Yocum in 
regard to salted hides. The great difficulty with salted 
hides, especially as far as the color of leather is con- 
cerned, is salt stains. I have wondered if the difficulty 
of salt stains as a whole could not be overcome by 
using a better grade of salt than the packers use. The 
common method of salting hides in Chicago in some 
of the packing houses is to spread the salt over the 
hide and shake it off and brush that salt up and use 
it over again. Now in that process the salt, which is 
rock salt in large crystals, becomes coated with albu- 
minous matter, which carries of course a large quantity 
of blood in which there is good deal of iron, and ti 
seems to me it is rather obvious that the efficiency of 
the salt is considerably affected by using over and 


over again, simply because it is covered and its action 
is prevented by the albuminous coating that it re- 
ceives from passing over so many h ; des. I am sure 
Mr. Yocum will be only too glad to give us the benefit 
of his observation and experience in hides, and if 
any of you have any questions I am sure Mr. Yocum 
will be glad to tell you what he knows. 

Mr. Yocum : In answer to the chairman's remarks, 
I would say that if hides are taken out of pack and 
resalted, ordinarily one gets salt stains. It is claimed 
that this is due to dirty salt, but I have noticed that 
resalting even with clean salt will produce a greater 
quantity of the stain in resalted hides than if these 
hides were worked fresh. The claim that the iron in the 
blood is the cause of salt stains has never been dis- 
proven, and I have considered this was the cause of 
salt stains. A fresh hide — that is, a hide immediately 
out of pack — worked immediately, will not ordinarily 
show salt stains ; however, if that hide is permitted to 
lie awhile or resalted it will ordinarily show salt stains. 
These stains seem to appear in the locations on the 
hide where opportunity has existed for the drying out 
of the hide. There is a certain concern in New York — 
hide brokers — who advise that hides should be, when 
they are resalted, resalted with clean crystallized salt. 
It is true that in using the crystallized salt, the hides 
do not show as much salt stain ; so likely, judging from 
that, the resalting operation has something to do with 
salt stain, and it is likely that the added salt stains 
caused by resalting are due to the condition of the 
salt. I do not think you are quite correct in saying 
that the albuminous matter covers up the granules of 
the salt, say mine salt, to any extent. Probably these 
granules act as a center to which, for some unknown 
reason, the iron and other staining qualities concen- 
trate themselves. 

I have had occasion, in the last 4 or 5 years, to notice 
stock with a nasty stain penetrating the hide straight 
through — it might be as big as a half dollar and it 


might be larger — and I discovered that it was due to 
the copper wires used for the explosion of the dyna- 
mite in the mining of the salt. This wire changes to 
copper chloride and acts as a sort of copper tannage or 
a tannage which, after the vegetable tannin strikes it, 
changes to a black color which cannot be bleached 

Mr. Beardmore : I would like to ask Mr. Youm 
if he has ever noticed any bad effect on the hides from 
the metal tags that the hide dealers put on? The 
reason I ask the question is that I have had hides that 
were tagged with a zinc tag which had eaten a hole 
right through. A spot will drop out about as b>g as a 
fifty-cent piece. That is only with the zinc tag; the 
tin tag does not affect it. 

Mr. Connelly: I would like to ask Mr. Yocum if 
he thinks that the seasons of the year have anything 
to do with the salt-staining of the hide. I remember 
once in particular some hides coming out of our yard 
that had only been out of the packer's cellar seven 
days, and they were badly stained. We seem to get 
so many more in the summer than the winter that I 
wondered if the season of the year didn't affect them. 

Mr. Yocum: How long had they been packed? 

Mr. Connelly : I do not know that. Not over thirty 

Mr. Yocum : It is quite true that the tendency to 
salt stain is increased as the weather gets warmer, 
that is, there seem to be more salt stains in summer 
than in winter hides, but I do not believe that this is 
due to any other cause than the fact that the hides in 
the summer are not as well washed and cooled as they 
drop into the cellars as they are in the winter time. 
With February-March hides a great deal more care 
is taken to wash them down because of the manure on 
them. More care is exercised in washing down dungy 
hides than on June or July hides, and on account of the 
temperature of the water and the cellar itself, the 
hides are cooler as they go into pack. The result of the 


extra washing is that the blood is then removed from 
the hides; and the result of the cooler temperature as 
the hides go into pack is that less- opportunity for 
chemical change exists, and consequently less oppor- 
tunity for salt stain. However, the instance Mr. Con- 
nelly cites may be due to the use of dirty and old salt. 

Mr. Balderston : I would like to ask Mr. Yocum 
another question in line with what has just been said. 
A number of articles have recently appeared in Euro- 
pean journals on this question of salt stains, giving a 
large number of causes to which they are attributed. 
I cannot now state many, but there are at least a 
dozen causes and more than half of them are due to 
substances used in denaturing the salt, which does not 
interest Americans ; but there is one which Mr. Yocum 
has mentioned and I would like to ask his idea about 
it. It is said that the blood remaining in the hide be- 
comes a center of bacteriological action which pro- 
ceeds even in the presence of the salt. That is, there 
is some sort of chemical action, probably due to bac- 
teria, which produces a stain in the hide wherever 
blood remains. This statement is made by someone 
who is supposed to know, and I would like to ask Mr. 
Yocum's opinion about it. Does the presence of the 
blood in parts of the hide make a salt stain where the 
blood is? 

Mr. Yocum : I never have done any special work 
on the subject. I have always taken Dr. Fiebing's 
statement that the presence of blood containing iron 
would occasion salt stains if it was not properly 
washed out, and yet the character of a salt stain is such 
that it would hardly seem to be caused entirely by one 
thing. If hides are put in bundles and piled up and 
left for three months or so, there will be salt stains 
across the fold of the bundle. I have read some of the 
articles you speak of in which they say it is bac- 
terial, a change of some of the nitrogenous material 
into pigments of some sort, but I have also experi- 
enced this, that where hides are unhaired and then go 


into acid solutions, they do not retain some of the salt 
stains. It is only where there is an opportunity for the 
fixation of some compound that is existing there. It 
would be natural to conclude that the iron in the blood 
had considerable influence on it rather than any bac- 
teriological action, because if a given hide is put into 
an acid solution and shows no salt stain, but when 
put into some solution that is not so acid does show 
salt stain, it is fair to conclude that the acid had some- 
thing to do with its removal. It could not have any- 
thing to do with the bacteriological action ; it would 
be a chemical action. 

Mr. Lockwood : I think the procession of events 
during a good many years has sort of automatically 
thrown some light on this salt stain question, and 
what I shall say will be in line with what Mr. Yocum 
has said. Probably a number of you remember that 
perhaps a little less than twenty years ago there were 
apparently more hides than the tanners could use and 
the packers frequently carried their long-haired winter 
hides through the summer and began to take off long- 
haired hides again with all the previous winter's hides 
on hand. The salt stain question was discussed 50 per 
cent more then than it is to-day. It was a great evil, all 
the tanners were complaining about it and the trade 
papers were full of talk about salt stains, and of course 
there were elaborate theories as to what caused the 
salt stains just as you are expounding theories to-day. 
I did not understand them then and don't to-day, as I 
am not a chemist. But as hides began to get scarcer 
and as packers began to do what they had never done 
before, sell them in advance of the kill, so that they 
did not have to carry hides any great length of time, 
the salt stain business began to fade away. 

Mr. Yocum : As Mr. Lockwood has said, there is 
absolutely no question about the element of time en- 
tering into the question of salt stains, but time itself 
does not explain why we have salt stains. We cer- 
tainly do have more salt stains on hides that have been 


packed a long time or hides that have been repacked 
than we do on fresh hides, yet the time element itself 
will not occasion salt stains. We have to go a little 
further back than that to determine what the action is. 
Personally I am disposed to credit the theory, as I 
said before, that it is caused by the iron in the haemo- 
globin of the blood under certain conditions of moist- 
ure, time and salt. 

Mr. Morrison: While we know that time has 
something to do with salt stains, it is evidently a fact 
that we get more salt stains from hides that have been 
salted with dirty salt than we do from a clean, fresh 
salt, regardless of time, and I have found it that way 
in my experience; but I have opened bundles of hides 
where the salt stains along the fold were so heavy it 
looked like a heavy rust. It goes to show that time 
has something to do with it, but dirty salt has a good 
deal to do with it too. 

Mr. Yocum : I think Mr. Morrison is quite correct 
in his statement, because, just as I said here a few min- 
utes ago, there is a certain brokerage house that has 
advised the packing of hides with clean crystallized 
salt and they claim that they have not had anything 
like the prevalence of salt stains that they would if 
they had used the ordinary mine salt. 

Mr. Desmond: I should think that with the condi- 
tions ruling in the hide market now, the question of 
time would be decided, because there are no hides left 
in pack too long; but aside from that question I do 
want to say that as a tanner I appreciate very much 
that the chemists are taking up this question of raw 
material, which forms 70 or 75 per cent of the largest 
bill the tanners have, and probably the most uncer- 
tain thing that the tanners have and have had for 
twenty-five years. I believe Mr. Morrison made the 
statement that some of the packers' hides have salt 
stains to-day, but it is also true that here and there 
there are lots of packer hides that have been in the 


salt for six to eight months, and it is possible that it is 
those particular lots which show the salt stains. 

Mr. Morrison : I admit that, but on the later 
months' take-off, that have not been lying in the beds 
longer than the rules call for, there will be salt stains. 
I just mention this to show that it is not the lying in 
the bed so long that creates all the salt stains, but that 
we get salt stains from hides that are not laid a long 
time in the beds. I admit there are lots of packer 
hides to-day that have been in the packers' hands 
longer than thirty days. 

Mr. Yocum : I might say as an explanation of the 
basis of some of my opinions, that in the last year or 
so I have had opportunity to see the working of un- 
salted hides to the extent of probably 20,000 or 25,000 
hides, and I have yet to see a hide that has a salt 
stain on it from stock that had never been in salt. 

Mr. Lockwood : To really understand this matter it 
is well to know that the length of time hides must re- 
main in the cellars is the length of time it takes to 
make a pack, plus the time required to cure the last 
or top layer. It is a merchantable proposition and not 
a mere proposition of curing hides; so that when the 
packers are killing, they make up the different packs, 
and of course a pack must be completed and it may 
take a considerably longer time to complete a pack 
of a given selection than to cure the first hides that 
go into that pack. Therefore, while they are selling 
them as quickly as it is possible, yet inevitably some 
hides must remain in the pack in salt very much longer 
than the time necessary to cure them ; so that there are 
always hides lying in salt under every condition, much 
longer than the time necessary to cure them. 

Mr. Desmond : We had more hides than we knew 
what to do with in 1908, and during the warm weather 
we were compelled to resalt some of them, and of 
course we were very careful about the salt used. It 
was the best rock salt, and to my knowledge there was 
not a hide in the lot that was salt stained, and I know 


we carried some of them along six or eight months, 
and it is quite possible that if the .investigation was 
carried back into the packer's hide cellar and into the 
dealer's hide cellar, a good deal of the source of the 
salt stain would be discovered there. 

Mr. Morrison : I am positive of it. I have seen 
hides that have been in salt for six months and did 
not show any salt stain. They could all be worked 
into fair leather. Then again hides from the last 
month's take-off may show salt stains. If the hide is 
traced back to the hide cellar you will find a great 
deal of the trouble. 



@ — An abbreviation used for "and," "at" and "to" in market 
quotations, the first figure usually being the bid and the 
latter the asked rate. 

Abattoir (a-bat-wor') — A large slaughterhouse. 

Aberdeen — A breed of cattle. The hides are black and long 
haired, suitable for robes and coats. 

Allowance — (See Tare.) (See Grub.) 

All-weights — Hides or skins not divided into heavy, light or 
extreme light weight classifications. 

Anglo-American — Hides of American export cattle taken off 
in England. 

Angus — A breed of cattle. The hides are black and long 
haired, suitable for robes and coats. 

Anthrax — A virulent cattle disease. 

April Hides — Hides taken off in the month of April. 

Arsenic — A poison, used in solution, to prevent insects from 
destroying dried hides and skins. 

Auctions — (See English Hides.) 

August Hides — Taken off in the month of August. 

Average Weights — The total weight of heavy, light or ex- 
treme light weights, or all weights, averaged by the num- 
ber of pieces. 


Back — The central or middle part of the hide. 

Bank — Hides placed in uniform piles to drain off blood or 

Beaver — A triangular wooden frame, or other obstruction, 

over which cured hides are dragged, to remove loose 

salt before hides are inspected. The beaver keeps loose 

salt away from the inspecting floor. 
Bed (Killing) — The floor on which dead cattle are laid for 

Bed (Hide) — That part of the hide cellar floor where hides 

are to be packed. The word hide-bed is sometimes used 

synonymously with "hide-pack." 
Beeves — Live steers, bulls and cows. 
Belly — The edges of the hide. 


Big Four — The four largest American meat packers: Swift 
& Co., Armour & Co., Morris & Co., and National Pack- 
ing Co. 

Big Six — The six largest American meat packers: Includes 
the "Big Four" and also Sulzberger & Sons Co. and the 
Cudahy Packing Co. 

Black Hides — Long haired hides, dead black in color, se- 
lected specially for tanning into robes and coats. 

Bot-Fly — Cattle fly, which is responsible for grubs in hides. 

Bovine — Quadrupeds of the genus "Bos" — as, steer, bull, 
cow, calf. 

Brand — A mark of identification on hides, made with a hot 
iron upon live cattle, generally upon calves which roam 
unfenced ranges. 

Branded Cows — All cow hides carrying brands. 

Brine — A salt solution. 

Brisket — That part of the hide just behind the foreleg. 

Broker — A hide buyer for the trade. 

Buenos Aires — A South American port of export for dried 
hides and skins. The term is expressed in the trade as 
"B. A." hides. 

Buffs— Country cow, steer and bull hides, 40 to 60 lbs. in 
weight in most sections of the United States. In Chi- 
cago, the weight range is 45 to 60 lbs. 

Bull — The male of the bovine species. 

Bullock — A steer or ox. In cattlemen's parlance, any beef 
animal of heavy weight is termed a bullock. 

Bundle — The hide folded and rolled into a compact form 
suitable for tying with rope and easily handled. 

Bundle Condition — Hides bought from original bundles, out 
of first salt and usually in dry merchantable condition. 

Butcher Hides — Hides taken off by country butchers, as dis- 
tinguished from farmer and packer hides. 

Butt — The rump of an animal or hide. 

Butt Branded — Steer hides branded on the rump or butt. 

Calf — The young of the bovine species. 

Calfskin — Bovine hides or skins weighing from 8 to 15 lbs. 
salted. The large American packers grade the weights 
down from 15 lbs. Dried weights, 4 to 8 lbs. 

Carcass — A dead animal. 

Carlots — Hides and skins are usually sold in carlots. Mini- 
mum weight is usually 36,000 lbs. (See table.) 

Cased — Skins or furs pulled off the animals without cutting 
down the belly. 

Cash — Hides and skins are usually sold for cash. 

Cattle — Animals of the genus "Bos," 


Caul Fat — An edible fat used in the manufacture of oleo oil 
and stearine. 

Cellar — The place where hides and skins are salted and 

Chicago Freight — Hides shipped to eastern buyers from 
points west of Chicago upon which seller pays freight to 

Classifications — The selections or varieties of hides and 

Colt — A young horse. Small horse and pony hides are called 

Colorados — All packer branded steers' hides except Texas 
steers and butt branded steers. 

Commission — Remuneration of hide brokers. 

Condition — Applied to hides; as "bundle condition." Also 
used in connection with special features attached to hide 

Coolers — Refrigerated rooms for storage of meat. 

Cordovan — The rump or butt of a horse hide. 

Corium — The true skin, as distinguished from the epidermis. 

Corn Fed — Animals fattened upon corn. 

Country Hides — Hides from country sections. 

Cow — The female of the bovine species. 

Credit — Hides sold on credit usually are exceptional trans- 
actions at special prices. 

Culls — Badly damaged hides. 

Cure — Method of preserving hides and skins from putrefac- 
tion or injury from insects, as Salt cure, Dry cure and 
Poison cure. 

Cut — Damage to hide in flaying. Cut hides are second 

Cut Throats — Applied to kosher hides, with throats cut cross- 
wise, as distingiushed from stuck throats. (See Kosher.) 


Dairy Hides — Cow hides from old animals, thin and spready. 
They are usually short haired in winter, being mostly 
stable fed. 

Damaged Hides — Hides imperfectly flayed or with other de- 

Dates (Grubbing) — Arbitrary dates upon which allowances 
for grubs in hides begin or end. (See Grubbing.) 

Deacon Skins — Calfskins weighing under 7 lbs. 

Deerskins — The skin of a deer, usually dried in curing. 

Disinfection — Treatment to prevent disease or its spread 
among animals and workmen. 

Distillery Fed — Cattle fattened upon distillery refuse. 

Drop-Weights — The weight of the hide green as dropped 
from the bullock. 


Dry Flint — The extreme of dryness in hides. 

Dry Hides — All hides cured by drying, eilher sun or shade 

Dry Salted — Hides preserved with salt and then dried. 
Dewclaws— Horny protuberance on cattle legs. Worthless on 

the hides. 

Ear — Ears should be split on green hides to allow hides to 

lie flat in the packs. (See diagram.) 
Earmarks — Metal tags attached to ears of live cattle as a 

mark of identification. 
Edge (Pack) — Side, back and front edges of hide packs, spe- 
cially built to retain brine. 
Edible— That which may be eaten. 
English Hides — Hides of English take-off. Usually sold 

through auction houses. 
Epidermis — The cuticle or scarf skin. The outer layer of the 

skin of animals. The grain side of the hide. 
Extreme Light Hides — The lightest selection of hides; 25 to 

50 lbs. 
Extremes — Country hides 25 to 40 lbs. in most sections of 

the United States and 25 to 45 lbs. in Chicago and some 

of the larger market centers. 


Face — (See Pate.) 

Fallen Hides — Hides from dead animals not slaughtered. 
Usually applied to range cattle hides which are pre- 
served by drying. Hides from animals dead from dis- 
ease are termed murrain. 

Farmer Hides — Hides taken off by farmers. Usually very 
poorly flayed. 

Fell — That portion of the hide on the "round" of hindleg. 
Hide must be pulled off this portion of carcass, as the 
hide clings tenaciously. 

Felmonger — English term applied to a dealer in sheepskins. 

Fertilizer — Refuse of slaughtering plants, manufactured for 
fertilizing purposes. 

Fibre (Hide) — The structure of the hide. (See special ar- 

Fill — A section of a pack of hides; composed of back, front 
and side edges and six spreads of hides. 

First — Hides of the number one grade. 

Flat — Hides not selected for numbers one and two or 
weights, or taken as they run, without any selections or 

Flaying — The operation of taking off hides; skinning. 

Flint— (See Dry Flint.) 


Flood Hides — Hides damaged by water and sold at special 

Flesh — The inner side of the hide — flesh side — next to the 

flesh of the carcass. 
Floorsman — Workman who skins cattle; his work consists of 

flaying the hide on the side of the animal; a sider. 
F. O. B. — Free of brands; hides from native cattle; native 

cows, steers and bulls. 
F. O. B. — Free on board. Delivery of hides by seller ends 

with the loading of the car. 
Foot — The shin bone and hoof. 
Free of Brands — Unbranded. (See F. O. B.) 
Frigorifico — Applied to hides taken off by South American 

large packers. Handled similar to packer hides of the 

United States. 
Front — (See Horse Front.) 

Glue Hides — Badly damaged hides, in decomposed state or 
very grubby, unfit for manufacture into regular grade 

Glue Stock — Hide trimmings, sinews, cords, etc., fit only for 
manufacture in glue. 

Goatskin — The skin of a goat. 

Grades — Various classifications, selections, and varieties of 
hides and skins. 

Grain — The hair side of the hide. 

Grassers — Dairy calves taken from their mothers' milk and 
fed grass and grain. These animals show cattle hair 
instead of veal hair. 

Grass Fed — Cattle fed on grass; range cattle. 

Green — Uncured hides. 

Grub — Larvae of the bot, or cattle, fly. 

Grub Allowance — Percentage of hides subject to price reduc- 
tion for grub holes. 

Grubbing Dates — Dates upon which the grubbing privilege 
begins or ends. 

Grub Holes — Hole caused by the larvae of the bot fly emerg- 
ing from the hide. 


Hair — Covering of the hide; a protection to the animal. 

Hair Side — The grain side of the hide. 

Hairslip — Evidence of decomposition. 

Heat—Caused by sweating. The early stage of decomposi- 

Heavy Hides — Hides over 60 lbs. in weight, except native 
cows over 55 lbs. in weight. 


Heberlinge — Skin of young goat fed on grass; has same 
characteristics as kipskins in cattle. 

Hide — Applied to all heavy skins, especially of cattle. 

Hide Cellars— Places in which hides are salted and stored. 

Hide Fibre — (See Fibre.) 

Hide Horse — Wooden frame over which cured hides are 
shaken to remove salt. 

Hide Inspector — Workman who attends to the proper take- 
up, grubbing and receipt of hide purchases. 

Hide Rollers — Workmen who fold and roll hides into bun- 
dles for shipment. 

Hide Rope — Used in tying hides for shipment. 

Hide Sweeper — Workman who cleans hides of salt with a 
broom when delivery is being made. 

Hide Tariff — The import duty. 

Hide Tiers — Workmen who tie the bundled hides, for ship- 

Hogskin — The skin of a hog. 

Hoof — Part of cattle foot. 

Horns — Projections from cattle heads. 

Horn Scratches — Damage done to hides by horns. 

Horse Butts — The hind part of the horse hide, 18 to 21 inches 
from the tail. 

Horse Fronts — The forepart of the horse hide. All of the 
hide except the butt. 

Horse Hide — The hide of a horse. The front and butt. 

Hypoderma Bovis — English warble or grub fly. 

Hypoderma Lineta — American warble or grub fly. 

Inedible — That which may not be eaten. Not fit for food. 
Inspect — To grade and select hides. 
Inspection — A scrutiny of hides for imperfections. 
Inspector — Workman who grades and selects hides, payment 

being tendered according to the various classifications 

he makes. 
Invoice — A bill for a shipment of hides. 

June Hides — Hides taken off in the month of June. 
July Hides — Hides taken off in the month of July. 


Kid — A young goat. Leather made from mature goatskins 

is called kid. 
Kill — Slaughter for a certain period, as June kill, Week's 

kill, etc. 


Killer — Used synonymously for Packer, Slaughterer, Seller, 

Kip — Skins, lighter than hides and heavier than calfskins, 

weighing 15 to 25 lbs. 
Knife — Instrument used in skinning cattle, trimming hides, 

Kosher — Hides from cattle killed according to the Jewish 

law, often termed "cut throats" as distinguished from 

stuck throats. 

Lap — The fold of the hide on the edges of the hide packs. 
Lambskins — Skins from young sheep that have never been 

Leaching — Method of extracting blood and moitsure from 

hides. Also applied to bark in tanning. 
L. C. L. (Less than carload) — Small lots of hides insufficient 

to make minimum loading weight; take local freight 

billing; country butcher lots. 
Light Calf — Calfskins weighing 7 to 8 lbs. 
Light Hides — Packer hides weighing 50 to 60 lbs., except 

native and branded cows; latter not selected for weights. 
Light Native Cows — Packer native cows weighing 25 to 55 

lbs. Sometimes they are sold 45 to 55 lbs., with the 25 

to 45 lbs. hides called extreme light hides. 
Long-Haired — Hides taken off cattle in the winter season. 


Manure — Allowance for dung on hides. A manure weighs 

three pounds. Enough manures are counted to cover 

the amount of dirt on the hide. 
Marking Hides — Marking hides for identification through the 

tanning process by tags, brands, cuts and other marks. 
Matadero — South American butcher or country hides. 
Maverick — An unbranded calf on the ranges. 
Murrain — Hides or skins from animals dead from disease or 

accident. (See Fallen Hides.) 


Native — Unbranded hides. 

Neat — Belonging to the bovine species, as bulls, steers and 

Neatsfoot Oil — Oil rendered from cattle feet. 
Neck Spayed Brand — Mark of identification by cattlemen. 
New Salt — Fresh salt which has not been used for salting 

Nijni Novgorod — Great Russian hide and fur fair. 


Oleo Stearine— Residuum of oleo stock r.fter oil has been 

pressed out. Oleo stearine tests 51 deg. Titre and less 

than one per cent free fatty acid. 
Oleo Stock — Product of rendered edible beef fats. 
Oleo Oil — Edible oil resulting from the pressing of oleo 

Overweight Kip— Hides weighing 25 to 35 lbs., usually in the 

native varieties. 
Overweights — Hides or skins slightly over the dividing 

weights of the various selections and gradings. (See 

Ox- — A steer. 


Pack — A number of hides placed in a special manner for 
curing purposes. 

Packer — A large slaughterer of live stock. 

Pate — The hide off the face of a beef animal. 

Pattern — Shape of hide resulting from good or bad take-off. 

Pelts — Skins of sheep. 

Pepperboxes — Badly grubby hides. 

Pickle — Salt solution resulting from the action of salt upon 

Pickled Skins — Sheepskin slats preserved in a salt solution. 

Plump — Hides of uniform thickness and solid texture. Sum- 
mer and fall hides. 

Poison Cure — A method of preserving dried hides from in- 
jury from insects. 

Pony Skins — Small horse hides. 

Private Terms (P. T.) — Hides sold at prices not to be given 

Putting Up Hides — (See Take-up.) 

Quality — Texture of hides, as summer or winter quality. 
Quantity — The number of hides embraced in a sale or car- 


Raw Stock — Tanners' term for hides and skins generally. 
Rendering — Operation of melting animal fats, into tallows, 

oils and greases. 
Ribby — Corrugated, as ribby necks or ribby shoulders. 
Robe Hides — Long haired hides suitable for tanning into 

robes and coats. 
Rolling Hides — The operation of folding and bundling hides 

for shipment. 


Rope — (See Hide Rope.) 

Rough — Not smooth, as ribby necks, rough haired. 

Rump — Butt of hide or animal. 

Runner-Kip — Runty kipskins — thin hide, long-haired and poor 

Runt — A runner. (See Runner Kip.) 
Rust— (See Salt Stain.) 

Saladero— South American small packer's hides. 

Salt — A mineral used in preserving hides and skins. 

Salting — The operation required for the preservation of hides 

and skins. 
Salt Rust— (See Salt Stain.) 
Salt Stain — Discolorization on hides, due to iron or copper 

in salt. 
Salt Thrower — Workman who scatters salt over hides when 

put in packs. 
Scale — Used for weighing and testing hides. 
Scratches — (See Horn Scratches and Wire Scratches.) 
Scurf — Loose tissue on the flesh side of the hide. 
Second — A hide of a number two grade. 
Second Salt — Salt which recovered and used again in the 

preservation of hides and skins. 
Selection — The act of grading hides and skins. The various 

grades and classifications of hides and skins. 
Shaking Hides — The removal of salt from hides by shaking 

over a wooden frame termed a hide horse. 
Shanks — Portion of the hide from the leg of the animal. 

The legs. 
Shearlings — Sheepskins from which the wool has been shorn. 
Shedder — Hides from which the long hair is coming out. 

Spring hides. 
Sheepskins — Skins from all classes of sheep; usually used in 

connection with wool skins. 
Shingled Packs — Hides placed in lapped piles to cure. 
Short Hair — Hides with summer hair. Summer hides. 
Short Trimmed — Dried hides with heads and shanks trimmed 

Shoulder — Portion of the hide at the foreleg. 
Shrink — The loss in weight between^ green and cured weights, 

or loss in weight between billing weight and weight on 

arrival at tannery. 
Side — Portion of the hide from the side of the animal. 
Side-Brand — Hides carrying brands on the side. Generally 

steers — Colorado steers. 
Sider — (See Floorsman.) 


Sinews — Cords in the legs. Country butchers leave these on 

the hide. They are worthless, except for glue stock. 
Skewer — Sharpened stick used in punching through grub 

Skin — A small hide. Used to designate hides of small ani- 
mals, as calf, kip, hog, colt, fur, etc. 
Skinning — The act of taking off the hide of an animal. 
Slats — Sheep and lambskins with the wool removed. 
Slaughterer — A killer of live stock. 
Slunk — The skin of an unborn calf. 
Small Packer — A slaughterer of small size, as distinguished 

from the "Big Six." 
Sorting — The selection, grading and classification of hides 

and skins. 
Spayed Brand — Identification mark on live cattle. 
Split Ears — (See Ears.) 
Spongy — Hides with little solidity of texture. Mushy in the 

Spores — Germs of the anthrax disease. (See Anthrax.) 
Spread — One operation in the building of hide packs. The 

range in market quotations. 
Spreaders- — Workmen who place the hides uniformly in the 

Spready Hides — Thin hides of over average width across the 

Stag — A castrated bull. 

Steer — Hides from castrated males of the genus Bos. 
Stock — Live stock. 
Stock Yards — Market places for the sale and slaughter of 

live stock. 
Strike Hides — Badly flayed hides taken off by novices during 

strikes of expert workmen. 
Strings — (See Hide Rope.) Average uniform length of hide 

strings, seven feet. 
Stuck Throats — Hides with throats cut lengthwise — not kosh- 

Sweep Tare — The allowance granted for moisture in hides 

when shipped. 
Switches — Cattle tails. 


Tags — Mark of identification for hides. 

Tag Ends — Small portions of hides on edges partially de- 

Tail — Appendage on the butt of the hide, with switch cut off. 

Tail Weights — Green weights in England are marked on tail 
with knife cuts. 

Take-Off — Condition resulting from flaying, or the seasons, 
"good take-off" or "March take-off." 


Take-Up — The pulling apart of a pack of cured hides, classi- 
fying, sorting, selecting and grading. The delivery of 

Tankage — Refuse of slaughtering plants, manufactured for 

fertilizing purposes. 
Tare — Allowance for moisture in hides when delivery is 

made. Allowance to cover shrinkage in transit. 
Tariff— (See Hide Tariff.) 
Testers — Hides weighing just at the test weight, i. e., light 

native cows which are sold up to 55 lbs., testers' weigh 

56 to 58 lbs., applicable to any grade and selection of 

Test Weights — Weights agreed upon to test for heavy, light 

and extreme light hides, as 61 lbs. and over for heavies, 

51 to 61 lbs. for lights, etc. 
Texas Steer — Hides of cattle from Texas. Branded steers, 

plump, narrow through the shoulders and of solid 

Texture — The quality of the hide fibre. The feel, as hard, 

soft, spongy, etc. 
Throat — The sticking piece. All hides are either cut or stuck 

Tick — Insect pest causing Texas fever in cattle. 
Tickicides — Means of killing ticks. 
Ticky Sides — Leather showing tick marks. 
Trade — A sale. 
Trim — Method of shaping hides, as "long trim," "short trim," 

"heads and shanks off," etc. 
Trimmings — Pates, shanks, etc. Tag ends cut off hides, 

meat, etc. 
Tying Hides — Operation of fastening bundled hides with hide 

rope, for shipment. 


Unhairing — Process of removing the hair in the tannery. 
Uruguay — Hides from Uruguay. 

Value — The worth of hides; the market price. 
Vat Rendering — Process of making tallows, greases, oils, 


Warble-Fly (Hypoderma Bovis) — English cattle fly, causing 
grubs in hides. 

Weigh — Operation of ascertaining weight of hides in ship- 
ment. Hides are sold by the pound and are weighed 
before shipment. 


Weights — Classifications of hides, as green, cured, heavy, 
light, extreme light, test, tare, etc. 

White-Weight — The weight of hides after unhairing and be- 
fore tanning. 

Wire Brand — Brand on hides, made upon live cattle with a 
heated wire. These brands are usually small and hard 
to find. 

Wire Scratches — Damage to grain side of hide, caused by 
barbed wire. 

Advertising Section 

Tne following pages contain display 
advertising ox an important and interesting 
character and are commended to the serious 
consideration or readers or this book. 


Office of 


June, 1912 

Hide Commission Merchants 

Established 1873 

We Have Every Facility 

for Handling Your Stock 


First National Bank 

of Chicago 

We Have Been In This 
Business 38 Years 

We Stand Ready to 
Show What We Can Do 


, Calfskins, Pelts 
Horsehides, Tallow 

Cattle Switches, Horse Tails* Etc. 


122-130 W. Michigan St. 

Forestal Tannin Co. 

A. HELMRATH, President 



The Forestal Land Timber & Railways Co., 


Of London and Buenos Aires 


Quebracho Extracts 

"Argam" "Ordinary" 


(Recently Sold Through The Argam Tannin Co.) 

Sole Selling Agents for United States 
and Canada 

A. Klipstein & Company 


M. K. Parker & Co. 


Are among our satisfied customers. 
We feel positive it would be to your advantage also. 







Put your wants before us. 
We can make good. 

M. K. Parker & Co. 

607-608-609 Postal Telegragh Building 


Hide & Tallow Co 


Packer, City and Country Butcher 


Sheepskins, Tallow, Greases 

Ohio and Pennsylvania Buffs and Extremes 

Spready Steers, Cows and Bulls, etc. 

We deliver all Packer Hides and Skins out of 
first salt, in original condition 



Avoid Experiment and Loss 
Achieve Success and Profit 


Chrome Leather 


TANOLIN (Dry crystal form) 

The famous original "one bath" chrome tanning extract, 
suitable for tanning all kinds of hides and skins for produc- 
ing every variety of finished leather. 

PUERINE (Dry powdered form) 

Abacterial bate and dung substitute superior to and cheaper 
than any other bate. 

EMULSOL (Semi-solid form) 

A reliable and uniform fat-liquor, imparting to the leachcr 
the highest degree of softness and strength with the mini- 
mum quantity of material at the lowest cost. 

CHROMOL (Heavy liquid form) 

The perfect fat-liquor for chrome leather which is to receive 
a glazed or enameled finish. No degreasing required. 

KROMOID (Solid form) 

The original and unequaled filler for chrome tanned sole 
leather, rendering the leather hard, waterproof, non-slipping 
and exceedingly durable. 

These -widely used 'materials are standardized and dependable, 
so that in employing them the tanner can rely on obtaining the 


Correspondence solicited not only in the English language, but 
in the German, French and Spanish languages. 

The Martin Dennis Company 

859 Summer Avenue . NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, U. S. A. 

Hide & Skin Co. 


Importers and Exporters of 


Of All Kinds and Descriptions 

Representatives in All Principal Markets and 
Own Offices in 

Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, London, Paris, 
Buenos Ayres and Montevideo 

The Turner Tanning 
Machinery Co. 

Main Office and Works: PEABODY, MASS., U. S. A. 

Largest Producers of Hide and Leather 
Working Machinery in the World 

American Branches: 





European Headquarters: The Turner Co. A. G., Frankfort a'M. 

A chemical laboratory devoted 
exclusively to analysis and 
scientific research in Leather 
and Tanning Materials. 

Tanning Research Laboratory 



The facilities which the labor- 
atory provides for carrying out 
technical investigation and 
general laboratory work are 
open to the leather trade. 






One View of the New York Tanning Kxtract Company's 
Plant in Argentina 




N. Y. 

Established 1900 



Office and Laboratory Sampling Office 

325 Academy Street 150 Nassau Street 

Newark, N. J. New York City 

WE analyze tannin extracts, liquors, 
sumacs, myrabolans, valonia, 
dividivi, algarobilla, gambier, bark?, 
spent tanning materials of all kinds, 
leather, paints, oils, fats, greases and 
all materials used in the tannery. 

We draw Samples in New York, 
Philadelphia and Boston 

Main Office, L. D. 'Phone 3486 Market 
Sampling Office, L. D. 'Phone 2586 Beekman 


Sampson Rogers John J. Tye Frank E. Hoover 

Bolles and Rogers 

Dealers in 

Packer, City Butcher 
and Country Hides 

— — B— g— i— HE 

In All Desired Quantities, Weights and 
Selections, also 

Calfskins, Sheep Pelts, Dry Hides, 
Wool, Tallow and Grease 

129-131 West Kinzie Street 
Chicago, 111. 


91-93-95-97 Fulton St. M-,_, V ahI# 
72-74-76-78 Ann St. IMeW YOTK 


Of All Chemicals 
Fop the Tanners 




Oxalic and Acetic and Boracic Acids 
Paraffin, Arsenic, Yellow, Saxony 
Red, White, Powdered and Lump 
Cutch, Soda, Glycerine, Nigrosine, 
Yellow Prussian Potash 
Olive Oil, Green and Yellow 


New York 

Stehling's Patent Portable Paddle Wheel 

The above illustration shows our portable paddle wheel which 
is now in successful ojseration washing sides and skins in the soak- 
ing vats, and is also used for liming sides and skins in the lime 
vats. The machine is adapted to take the place of the stationary 
paddle wheels which are now in use, as it can be lowered and raised 
from the vat, as well as being transferred from vat to vat by power. 
Only one machine is required on a line of ten vats. 

Chas. H. Stehling Co. 

Cor. 4th and Poplar Sts. 

Milwaukee, Wis. 

Designers and Builders of Tanneries and all kinds of New 
and Second-hand Hide and Leather Working Machinery. 


Established 1816 

46 Cliff Street NEW YORK 




BOSTON: 220 Congress St. 

PHILADELPHIA: 147 So. Front St. 

CHICAGO: 120 W. Kinzie St. 

Alphonse Weil & Bros. 


Importers and Exporters of 

Hides, Calf, Kip 

Horse, Colt, Goat 
Sheepskins, Wool, Etc. 

Chicago Office, 36 La Salle St. 


RICA, Russia BUENOS AIRES, Argentine CHICAGO, Illinois 
Agencies in Principal Markets of the World 

"There is nothing lil^e leather' 

We supply * 
the best which goes to mal^e it. 



For Every Kind of Vegetable Tannage 
For Every Kind of Chrome Tannage 


644-54 Greenwich Street, 

W. L. Montgomery & Co. 

22 High Street, BOSTON, MASS. 



Tanning Materials, Degras 




Buying and Inspecting Packer and Country Hides 




j. a. MIDDLETON a co. 

209 S. La Salle St. 


Liebers, WidebrooK and Private Codes 


Washburn & Puffer 


Packer and Country 


185 Summer Street 229 W. Lake Street 


Correspondence Solicited 



Chicago Packer Hides 


39 South La Salle Street 

Warehouse: Union stock Yards. 



Abe Stein & Co. 

97 Gold Street 

Cable Address "Stein" 




Enrico N. Stein 









China & Java Export Co. 










Max Klein 

Aden \ Arabia 

Hodeidah / Arabia 

Mombassa British E. A. 

Marseilles France 


We are giving special attention to 
your wants in hides and skins, both 
foreign and domestic, and have our 
connections in the foreign countries 
made to protect your interests. 

We are familiar with all the different 
kinds of hides and skins from foreign 
countries, and can give you valu- 
able information. 

Extracts: When you are in the 
market for foreign or domestic ex- 
tracts please wire or write us before 

Our services are thoroughly up-to- 

The J. F. Mosser Co. mc. 





Shoe and Leather Weekly 


Hide, Leather, Shoe 


I United States and Mexico . . $3.00 Per Annum 

Foreign 5.00 " 

154 West Randolph Street CHICAGO, ILL., U. S. A. 


Chicago Daily Hide Report 

is acknowledged to be the most accurate 
and reliable information published on 

Compiled by expert market reporters who are among the trade in Chicago 

each day up to 3:30 P. M. Mailed in the Main Postoffice before 

4:30 P. M. so as to catch the fast trains. 

1 Daily $7.00 Per Quarter, $25.00 Per Year 

SUBSCRIPTION RATES Three Times a Week ... 15.00 " " 

'Twice a Week 10.00 " 


Published from the Offices of the 


154 West Randolph Street, CHICAGO 

JUL 8 1912 




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